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Davidson to visit Columbus this weekend, meet with ownership

Oct 12, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT

John Davidson AP

A rare bit of actual hockey news to pass your way…

John Davidson, freshly removed from his post as president of the St. Louis Blues, will be in Columbus this weekend to meet with Blue Jackets owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Davidson and his wife will also be given a tour of local neighborhoods and suburbs — a pretty telling development given that, in an interview last weekend, Davidson expressed interest in working for the Blue Jackets.

Here’s more, from the Dispatch:

It’s widely assumed around the NHL that [Davidson] would need the promise of complete autonomy, just as he had with the Blues since joining them as president in 2006.

In that scenario, Davidson would likely assume the title of president of hockey operations, giving him authority of general manager Scott Howson and all hockey decisions. Priest could switch strictly to the business side of the organization, while retaining his rights to serve on the NHL board of governors.

McConnell and Priest have said for more than a year that the Blue Jackets were interested in adding experienced, proven executives to their front office if such a person became available.

If history is any indicator, McConnell and Priest are serious when it comes to bringing aboard veteran hockey folk. The pair added former Penguins and Rangers GM Craig Patrick midway through last season.

This weekend won’t be the first time McConnell and Priest have met with Davidson. The three first gathered on May 29 at Nationwide Arena, a precursor to Davidson agreeing to a contract buyout with the Blues.

  1. bcsteele - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Just a Blues fan giving some unbiased advice to the Blue Jackets based on my observations…

    Howson needs to go. Hire Davidson and let he and Patrick split the duties of building that team. That way they can possibly truly re-build with people that know how to do it. Not bash, and I know I’m not the only one with this thought…but I’ve never seen Howson do much for this team and his track record proves it.

  2. davebabychreturns - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    I hope for the sake of Blue Jackets fans and for Columbus as an NHL city that this happens.

    They are one of a small handful of choices for recent expansion that should have been a real no brainer (along with Minnesota and Ottawa) and it’s been a shame to see the franchise spinning its wheels instead of taking advantage of a golden opportunity to build a competitive franchise and a sizeable fan base.

    A guy like JD isn’t a guarantee to turn that team into a contender or anything – but I’m confident that with a respectable budget and full control over hockey operations he could have them in pretty good shape within a few years.

    BJs fans have suffered enough and the league needs a team with a potential market like that to be generating income rather than piling up losses.

  3. east96st - Oct 12, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    “John Davidson, will be in Columbus this weekend to meet with Blue Jackets owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest.”

    Sorry, folks. This will change nothing. What is needed if for JD to REPLACE Mike Priest. As long as McConnell allows Priest to have the final word, CBJ won’t fix it’s number one problem – grossly incompetent leadership. JD will be nothing but a figure head. Priest has all the power – as can be seen by the fact that Howson is STILL gainfully employed – and Priest is the McConnell family accountant – NOT a hockey guy. The problems that plague CBJ stem from the very top. So, until McConnell sells the Jackets or fires Priest and puts a guy like JD in charge, the problems will remain. I’m actually surprised JD is even talking to them. Everyone is entitled to a paycheck, but JD is smart enough to know that as long as Priest gets final say, all JD will be is public show piece so McConnell can blame everything on the new scapegoat.

    • elvispocomo - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      I’d suggest you go back and read the article:
      “It’s widely assumed around the NHL that [Davidson] would need the promise of complete autonomy, just as he had with the Blues since joining them as president in 2006.
      In that scenario, Davidson would likely assume the title of president of hockey operations, giving him authority of general manager Scott Howson and all hockey decisions. Priest could switch strictly to the business side of the organization, while retaining his rights to serve on the NHL board of governors.”

      • east96st - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM

        I’d suggest you learn something about the Blue Jackets organization before commenting. If you believe that Priest would surrender power without being fired, you either know nothing about the Jackets or you are terribly naive. Priest is considered “family” to the McConnells. Priest will do to JD exactly what he does to Patrick, say “there’s no money for any move I don’t agree 100% with”. They will either a) throw a LOT of money at JD to make it worth his while to put up with it, because, let’s be honest, we all have our price or 2) he will last a year and resign to look for a real job.

      • elvispocomo - Oct 13, 2012 at 9:28 PM

        Or, don’t read the article. If Davidson doesn’t get the guarantees he wants to become the President of Hockey Ops, then why would he agree to do so? He’ll just move on, possibly returning to broadcasting or finding a front office job elsewhere. The Blue Jackets will then continue to languish in mediocrity because they can’t make a proper hockey decision.

        No skin of my back either way, just saying whatever you know about the Blue Jackets, you clearly don’t know about Davidson. Reading the article would have given you a hint.

      • east96st - Oct 13, 2012 at 11:06 PM

        Sorry, elvis, I didn’t realize that you and JD discuss these things nightly. Again, as already stated, they will throw a pile of money at him. Can’t blame a guy if he goes with the highest bidder. As for the article itself, well, next time you and JD have one of your talks, you may want to explain to him that the Dispatch are partial owners of the Jackets. Therefore, any and all articles relating to the Jackets are written from the owners point of view and with the lone motivation of driving ticket sales. If you’re gullible enough to fall for a Dispatch article on the Jackets, I have some lovely beachfront property here in Columbus to sell you real cheap. But you have to move fast, there’s been a big demand for beach houses here in Ohio due to our tropical winters and our nearly 365 days of sunshine.

      • elvispocomo - Oct 15, 2012 at 2:31 PM

        Ok then, regardless of what the Dispatch article says, we’ll see what Davidson thinks is best for him and his career. I would think he’d rather manage a team that is more worried about spending money on player personnel and their support than they are about offering beaucoup bucks to one guy to pretend they’re doing something positive.

        If he doesn’t like what control he has, he’ll decline – it doesn’t take someone talking to him often to figure that out when that’s been the case in the past.

  4. id4joey - Oct 12, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    I hope he shows off his Stanley Cup rings. How many does he have now?

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