Friday, October 5, 2012

Blues' president, John Davidson, officially 'bought-out'

By Andrew Allsman| Posted: October 5th, 2012| Contact  |

As Jeremy Rutherford first reported, the Blues offered team president, John Davidson, an undisclosed buyout offer. Davidson, who has been with the team since 2006 accepted the offer from the Blues ending his seven-year tenure with the team.

“We would like to thank JD for his commitment and dedication to the Blues organization over the past six seasons,” said Blues owner Tom Stillman. “He has been instrumental in revitalizing the Blues franchise and has built a strong foundation for our organization, which will ensure the club’s success well into the future. He has also developed one of the top teams in the game today. JD has played a critical role in reconnecting the franchise with Blues fans and the entire St. Louis community, and he is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the term, personally and professionally. JD and his wife, Diana, have been deeply involved in the community, and they have represented the Blue Note with honor and class. We wish JD, Diana, and their daughters, Lindsay and Ashley, great health, happiness, and success in their future endeavors. We will always consider them part of the Blues family.”  

Davidson, 59, has held a job in professional hockey for the majority of his career. The former goaltender was drafted by the Blues in the first round of the 1973 draft. Davidson was dealt to the New York Rangers in 1975 and led their remarkable run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1979. Davidson would retire due to injuries in 1983 and would become an analyst for Madison Square Gardens (MSG) Network. He would broadcast for various networks, as well as win two New York Emmy awards for "Outstanding On-Camera Achievement", before joining the Blues in 2006.

Davidson was brought in by Dave Checketts and would become the seventh president in team history. His job, reconnect the team with fans, and design a winning team from scratch. Both of these tasks would prove to be no easy challenge, but both would be accomplished in Davidson's seven-year tenure. 

When Davidson took the job as president of the team, the Blues were only averaging  12,521 fans per game.  One season passed with Davidson as team president and that number rose to 17,610. Now the Blues expect nearly a sellout crowd of 19,150 every game. 

Davidson played a part in the acquisitions of now-key players such as Andy McDonald, and Alex Steen. Davidson also was involved in the drafting of some of the players that are now the faces of the franchise such as David Perron, and Alex Pietrangelo. The rebuilding of the club took time and Davidson's acquisitions were often questioned, but no one is questioning them now. The Blues are coming off a 109-point season in which they won their first playoff series in ten seasons.

Davidson signed a multi-year contract extension in 2011 worth $8 million. He had three years and $6 million left on his contract. 

"St. Louis has been nothing but outstanding to me and my family and we have enjoyed every minute here,” said Davidson.  “Although we did not accomplish the ultimate goal, I am proud of where this team is on and off the ice, and they are in excellent hands with this management team. St. Louis and the Blue Note will always be in our hearts, and we wish the organization and these great fans nothing but success in the near future."

Though unaware of where he will end up next, Davidson is open to taking another position in hockey. What position or where that position will be remains to be seen, but Davidson's experience in broadcasting and management should make him an attractive option around the league.