John Davidson accomplished every goal but one since coming back to the Blues. He didn’t bring the Stanley Cup to St. Louis.
Still, Blues fans will remember his seven-year run with tremendous fondness. Davidson, a Blues goaltender back in the good old days, restored the franchise’s credibility within the league and within this market.
He build such an excellent hockey operation that new owner Tom Stillman judged saw his position – and the hefty salary affixed to it – as a luxury he couldn’t afford.
Stillman is setting out to make the Blues financially stable. Part of his plan was to streamline the front office, which was a bit top heavy with good hockey men.
Sometimes a top executive can surround himself with too many good people. That is what Davidson did during his seven years as president of hockey operations.
So now will move on to new challenges. If another team doesn’t hire him in an executive capacity, Davidson could resume his highly successful career in broadcasting.
He left that career for the challenge of running NHL hockey operation. When David Checketts and Co. bought the Blues, Davidson answered their call to run the team.
The Blues were at rock bottom. Bill and Nancy Laurie pulled the chute as owners and ordered team president Mark Sauer to dump salaries.
The franchise sank to dead last in the NHL as a result. That left a massive rebuilding job for Davidson and his new owners.
Davidson developed a masterful plan. The team would build from the goal line out, getting stronger in goal and on the blue line. They would rebuild largely with youth and look to build a consistent winner in the long haul.
For more on Davidson's regime, check out my story on STLToday.com.