The situation with the Columbus Blue Jackets reads like a cliched old Western movie. The town (team) is a mess right now: no sheriff (captain) and a disillusioned town (fanbase) with little faith that things will get better. They need a hero, someone who can steer them in the right direction and show them a brighter day.
Cue John Davidson, former President of Hockey Operations for the St. Louis Blues.
Davidson is in Columbus this weekend to meet with the Blue Jackets’ front office. It’s been speculated that he could join the organization and work his magic there. Right now, he’s what the Blue Jackets need, because they’re in a really bad spot right now–last in the league, worst season in their history and a messy, drawn-out trade saga on top of that.
But Davidson has seen this before.
When Davidson arrived in St. Louis in 2006, the Blues were at the bottom of the league, listless and hopeless. Six years later, the Blues have bounced back like never before, both on the ice and in attendance. They finished the 2011-2012 season second in the league in points and boasting a Jennings Trophy-winning goaltending team in Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott plus their Jack Adams Trophy-winning coach Ken Hitchcock.
Like a hero in the Westerns, Davidson pulled on his hat, mounted his horse and rode off into the sunset, leaving behind him a much revitalized team and the thanks of a grateful fanbase. Okay, so it didn’t happen quite like that – Davidson agreed to a contract buyout on Oct. 9 after the new owner of the Blues decided to make some painful cuts to the organization. But the buyout was a mutual decision, and both sides have no ill feelings toward each other.
Will Davidson ride into town and clean up the lawlessness that is the Blue Jackets? If he does, he’ll be the Randolph Scott of hockey.