The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that president of hockey operations John Davidson is departing, amid reports that he will accept a similar position with the New York Rangers.
Davidson was named president of hockey operations and alternate governor in October 2012. The club went 285-209-46 during his tenure, and this past season, won a playoff round for the first time in franchise history. Overall, the team made four trips to the postseason under Davidson's leadership.
"He joined our team at a very difficult time and led a transformation that has resulted in consistent winning and appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs," said owner John P. McConnell. "J.D. is a man of great character and compassion, and I completely understand his interest in the unique opportunity before him."
That "unique opportunity" is a chance to return to the organization where he played for eight of his ten NHL seasons. His resume as a New York goaltender includes the 1978-79 campaign, during which, he went 20-15-4 with a 3.52 goals-against average in 39 games and then went 11-7 with a 2.28 goals-against average in 18 playoff games to lead them to the Stanley Cup Final, where they eventually fell to the Montreal Canadiens.
Davidson was also a broadcaster for the Rangers before starting his career in the front office.
The Blue Jackets will not hire a new president of hockey operations, but will elevate general manager Jarmo Kekalainen to the position of alternate governor.
"The winning culture that now is entrenched in all of us will continue under the direction of Jarmo Kekalainen," said team president Mike Priest. "We remain committed to improving on the successes we’ve had in recent seasons with the goal of bringing a Stanley Cup championship to Columbus."
UPDATE ONE: Davidson released a statement via Blue Jackets public relations.
UPDATE TWO: The Rangers have made Davidson's hire official.