According to a report from the Columbus Dispatch, St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations John Davidson has stepped down from his position with the club. Davidson has reportedly agreed to a buy out with the team following six years in the Blues front office.
Earlier this summer, Davidson interviewed with the Columbus Blue Jackets for a position in their front office on May 9th. Due to a clause in his six year contract with the Blues, Davidson was allowed to search for other opportunities in a 30 day period if the Blues were sold. The Blues were in fact sold, to new majority owner Tom Stillman. Entering this season, Davidson had four years left on his contract with St. Louis.
Davidson joined the Blues’ front office in 2006, following his time as a broadcaster. He helped in the rebuilding of the Blues, culminating in a great regular season performance by the club he constructed last season. St. Louis finished second in the Western Conference last year, but fell to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion L.A. Kings in the second round of the playoffs.
His experience with the Blues will be crucial if he does indeed join the rebuilding Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus’s attendance has dropped off severely the past few seasons and the club lacks a true star it can market and that they can build their team around.
The Blue Jackets traded for former Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky this offseason, signaling a new direction in net. Columbus also dealt their long term star Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, but only received a few role players along with an up and coming prospect in Tim Erixon.
Drafting successfully will be important for Columbus along with acquiring talent and experience via the free agent market. The NHL lockout certainly doesn’t help the matter and Columbus will be hit hard financially.