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Report: Davidson interviews with Blue Jackets

Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 11:13 AM / News

NHL.com

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Columbus Dispatch are reporting that Blues president John Davidson met with the Columbus Blue Jackets late last month regarding a position with the organization.

According to the Columbus paper, Davidson, 59, interviewed May 29 with Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell and club president Mike Priest. Neither McConnell nor Priest would comment on the proceedings or what position Davidson could have with the club, with McConnell only telling the newspaper through a spokesperson that the franchise will continue to, "pursue every opportunity to improve as a hockey club."

Davidson, who has three years left on a four-year contract he signed last year, has a stipulation in his deal that gives him a 30-day window to explore other opportunities in the event the Blues were sold. Tom Stillman was approved as the Blues' new owner May 9, meaning Davidson's time to look elsewhere for employment is coming to an end. The Columbus newspaper is reporting the Blue Jackets needed permission from the Blues to speak with Davidson.

Davidson has been with St. Louis since 2006, when former owner Dave Checketts convinced him to leave his Hall of Fame broadcasting career for a chance to run the Blues.

The Blues are coming off one of the most successful seasons in franchise history, with their 49 wins and 109 points both the second-highest totals in team history. They won their first Central Division title since the 1999-2000 season, and won their first playoff series since 2002, but lost in the second round to the Los Angeles Kings.

That's a far cry from when Davidson arrived in 2006, as the Blues were coming off a 57-point season that left them 30th in the League standings.

The Blue Jackets had a similar season in 2011-12, finishing with League-lows of 29 wins and 65 points.

Davidson had told the St. Louis newspaper in May that his future included four options -- staying with the Blues, going to another organization, returning to broadcasting or retiring.

"We'll just feel our way through it and figure out what we're going to do," Davidson told the newspaper then. "It's Tom's team. He is a respectful person, there's no question. We talk a lot. We'll get it figured out. With the window, I have the right to do what I want to do. So we'll figure it out. It's a problem, but it's a good problem."

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery