The Madison Square Garden Company Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James L. Dolan announced today that John Davidson has been named Rangers President.
“Today is the start of a new and exciting chapter in New York Rangers history,” Mr. Dolan said. “John Davidson is one of the premier executives in the National Hockey League. As we continue to build a team that can consistently compete for the Stanley Cup, John’s knowledge of the game and his experience and passion for the Rangers logo make him the ideal choice to oversee our Hockey Operations department. I am thrilled to welcome “JD” and his family home.”
“I am excited and humbled to be named the President of the New York Rangers,” Davidson said. “The opportunity of rejoining the Rangers organization and returning home to New York, where my family and I have spent so many wonderful years, was one I simply could not pass up. I want to thank James Dolan for offering me this chance to come home. I would also like to thank John P. McConnell for the opportunity to join the Blue Jackets organization in 2012, his guidance, support, and friendship over the last seven years, and for allowing my family and me to embark on this new journey with the Rangers. Additionally, I would like to thank the St. Louis Blues organization for giving me an opportunity to join their front office in 2006 and spend six fantastic years there.”
Davidson joins the Rangers’ front office after spending the past seven seasons as the President of Hockey Operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets (2012-13 – 2018-19). During his tenure with the Blue Jackets, which began on October 24, 2012, Davidson oversaw the most successful years of the franchise’s 18-season history. He began his tenure with Columbus following a season in which the Blue Jackets had the fewest points in the NHL. During Davidson’s seven seasons with the Blue Jackets, the team registered a 285-209-46 record (.570 points percentage) and posted a winning record in six of the seven seasons.
Columbus advanced to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in four of Davidson’s seven seasons with the team, including each of the final three seasons, and won its first playoff series in franchise history in the First Round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning. From 2016-17 – 2018-19, Columbus ranked fourth in the NHL in wins (142), trailing only Tampa Bay (158), Washington (152), and Boston (143). The Blue Jackets earned four of the franchise’s five all-time playoff berths during Davidson’s tenure, and the team established single-season franchise records with 50 wins and 108 points during the 2016-17 season. In addition, Davidson helped Columbus build its roster through the NHL Entry Draft, as several current Blue Jackets such as Zach Werenski, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Markus Nutivaara were selected by Columbus during his tenure. Columbus also acquired Seth Jones and Artemi Panarin in trades while Davidson was the team’s President of Hockey Operations.
Prior to serving as the Blue Jackets’ President of Hockey Operations, Davidson served in the same role with the St. Louis Blues for six seasons (2006-07 – 2011-12). Upon his arrival in St. Louis on June 30, 2006, Davidson took over a team that finished with the fewest points in the NHL the previous season. In his six seasons with the Blues, the team posted a 235-189-68 record (.547 points percentage) and registered a winning record in each of the final four seasons. In Davidson’s final season with the Blues, the team he helped assemble posted a 49-22-11 record for 109 points and won the Central Division for the first time in 11 seasons. Davidson also helped St. Louis build its team through the NHL Entry Draft, selecting players who impacted the Blues not only during his tenure, but also after he left the organization. While he was St. Louis’ President of Hockey Operations, Davidson played a key role in the team’s selection of players such as current Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo, Vladimir Tarasenko, David Perron, and Ian Cole, who all played for St. Louis during Davidson’s tenure. In addition, players such as Jordan Binnington, Jaden Schwartz, Jake Allen, Colton Parayko, and Joel Edmundson were all selected by the Blues during Davidson’s tenure and have played key roles for St. Louis following Davidson’s departure.
Prior to beginning his career as an NHL executive, “JD” spent nearly three decades in New York, first as a player with the Rangers and then with MSG Network as a TV Analyst. Davidson played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers (1975-76 – 1982-83), posting a 93-90-25 record in 222 appearances. During the 1979 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he posted an 11-7 record, along with a 2.28 GAA, a .921 SV%, and 1 SO in 18 appearances while helping the Blueshirts advance to the Stanley Cup Finals. Following his retirement, Davidson began his broadcasting career with MSG Network during the 1983-84 season and joined MSG Network full-time for the 1986-87 season. Davidson and Sam Rosen were broadcast partners for 20 years on MSG Network (1986-87 – 2005-06), and in 2009, the Hockey Hall of Fame presented Davidson with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions as a broadcaster. In 2004, he received the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.