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Blue Jackets President John Davidson Talks NHL Lockout, Life in Columbus

Jason Parks Jason Parks
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The way John Davidson described the city of Columbus, you’d think the new president of hockey operations for the Blue Jackets had been living in the capital city of Ohio for the past decade, not still looking for his first house there. But, Davidson has been busy during the lockout getting acquainted with the Blue Jackets organization.

“Columbus seems to be a city that’s very confident,” stated Davidson. “People who live here and work here are very high on it. It’s a busy city, there seems to be hiring in a lot of different areas, the real estate market has really come along and the restaurants are great!”

While the people of Columbus are confident about the city they live in, the same can’t be said about their sentiment towards the local NHL team. The Blue Jackets have finished with a losing record in 10 out of 11 seasons and have been a bottom dweller in the National Hockey League since their inception in 2000.

“You have to build a foundation for everything and we’re going to do it one brick at a time here in Columbus,” said Davidson. “I went through this process in St. Louis and now they’re one of the better teams in the league and they should be for a long time. What we’re going to do here is provide an entertaining brand of hockey, we’re going to work our tails off and we’re also going to build a team at the same time as we do that.”

Davidson is well respected around the NHL with an extensive and impressive hockey resume. He was a goaltender with the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers from 1973-1983, a hall of fame broadcaster, and most recently, the President of Hockey Operations for the Blues as he helped turn the franchise’s fortunes around. “My suggestion to people is if you want to jump on-board, do so and come watch the Blue Jackets grow because there are going to be some young players here that end up being great players, so you’ve got to come and grow with us.”

Some of the young talent that Davidson was referring to happened by the way of a trade. The face of the Blue Jackets franchise, Rick Nash, requested a trade last season and the team had to part ways with their star player during the offseason. When asked how he viewed the trade from the outside looking in, Davidson was mum on the subject. “I’m not ducking any questions but the trade was done before I got here. I’m looking forward to the assets that were put into place from the trade.”

Unfortunately, fans can’t watch the Blue Jackets or their young squad at the moment due to the NHL lockout. The league recently announced that the All-Star game, which was slated to be in Columbus this year, was canceled. “I’m anxious for the work stoppage to end just like everyone else is for the health of the game itself,” said Davidson. “It’s disappointing. I hope they get it fixed because business wise its good for a lot of different people, not just the players. People who enjoy hockey have a great passion for the sport and the sooner we get back playing the sooner those passions can be satisfied.”

In addition to home shopping, Davidson is staying busy scouting the Blue Jackets minor league affiliate teams and assessing the clubs talent during the lockout. “I know how big the Buckeyes are here and that’s really significant, no question. I’m going to pound the drum that this isn’t just a heck of a hockey city, but Columbus is an extremely vibrant city and I’m excited to be here.”

Jason Parks is the Owner of The Media Captain, an online media and marketing company in Columbus and contributes article content for Columbus Underground.

Photo of Davidson via bluejackets.nhl.com.

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6 Responses to Blue Jackets President John Davidson Talks NHL Lockout, Life in Columbus

  1. buckette13 November 26, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm

    Seems like the fans come last. I went to several matches last year, but this lockout has put a sour taste in my mouth. Both the players and management need to think of their customers. This reminds me a little of the COTA strike, but for something even less important.

  2. hdtvohio November 26, 2012 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm

    Do you know anything about the state of small market teams like the Blue Jackets right now buckette? I would have agreed with you during the NBA lockout or NFL lockout where teams are generally doing well, but a good portion of NHL teams aren’t doing well right now financially. I’d rather them get this right and lose part of a season or an entire season then see multiple NHL teams fold.

    And sure it seems like the fans come last. But it’s a business, not a community service event. I like everybody else wants to see the lockout over, but your blanket statements seem pretty entitled.

  3. hdtvohio November 26, 2012 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm

    As for the article…Good to see JD is having a good time in Columbus. Hopefully he’ll be able to talk up the city to free agents and get us a good young free agent to go with Nate MacKinnon

  4. mrmann November 27, 2012 3:34 am at 3:34 am

    poster above – “But it’s a business, not a community service event.”

    ^ then why are we subsidizing it? The whole thing sends so many red flags.

  5. hdtvohio November 27, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am

    mrmann Our city is subsidizing 1 of the many teams arguing, and our city is subsidizing it as a business investment. I guarantee no individual team wants to be in the lockout…do you think the Blue Jackets are causing it?

  6. spfld_expat
    spfld_expat November 28, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm

    @hdtvohio

    Yes! Well maybe CBJ isn’t causing the lockout single-handedly, but CBJ owner John P. McConnell is rumored to be among the “hardliners” willing to nuke the 2012-2013 season.

    http://bluejacketsxtra.dispatch.com/content/blogs/puck-rakers/2012/11/columbus-a-cba-hardliner.html

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