It is happening. John Davidson is returning to the Columbus Blue Jackets, completing the homecoming Blue Jackets fans wanted to see. The news was broken by Brian Hedger and Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch. Davidson who left the Blue Jackets after the 2019 season to take the same position with the New York Rangers was surprisingly fired after just two seasons in New York.
John Davidson (JD, as known in NHL circles) helped to build the Columbus Blue Jackets into a playoff team. His “brick by brick” mantra was well received by the Blue Jackets fan base and the team embraced it as well.
Davidson is a giant in the NHL and is highly regarded throughout the league which is why his firing sent shock waves through the NHL. Building a bottom feeder in Columbus into a playoff team endeared him to the city of Columbus Ohio.
The fact is a man with the stature of Davidson has help the Blue Jackets attract free agents as well as gets players to sign extensions. That will surly happen again. This time the Blue Jackets have more salary cap space. They also have players that need contracts such as Seth Jones.
In more good news the Blue Jackets have extended John Davidson’s right hand man and the person he hand picked as General Manager, Jarmo Kekalainen. The two worked so well in the past the Blue Jackets are banking on the two continuing their solid work.
Blue Jackets team President Mike Priest said of both Davidson and Kekalainen, “John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen worked tirelessly and effectively together to transform our hockey club from a team with one Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in 12 seasons to one that reached the postseason five times in seven years from 2013-20.”
In Columbus Ohio for the rabid Blue Jackets fan base it has been a very good fulfilling 24 hours. The offseason has started with a bang.