The Blue Jackets have long said they would explore all avenues to fortify their hockey operations department, and when the opportunity to pursue one of the game's most respected executives arose, they jumped all over it.
Mike Priest and the Blue Jackets ownership group kept close tabs on John Davidson over the last year or so. With St. Louis going through an ownership change and the futures of many still up in the air, Priest wanted to be prepared in case he had the chance to make a move.
A clause in Davidson's contract with the Blues allowed him to speak with other teams and look at other ventures last spring, and in late May, he came to Columbus to meet with the Blue Jackets -- and that's where the connection began.
The final piece of the puzzle with Davidson and the Blue Jackets falls into place this afternoon, as the team will formally introduce the longtime broadcaster and executive as its new president of hockey operations. Davidson held the same title with St. Louis from 2006-2012, where he oversaw a complete transformation of the competitive side of the Blues business.
When the 2005-06 season come to a close, the Blues had 57 points and were far-and-away the worst team in the National Hockey League. Davidson took over a franchise that needed a jolt, and he began the process by focusing on drafting better and developing young players that would be part of their organization for a long time.
Fast forward six years and the Blues are one of the great turnaround stories in the NHL. They won the Central Division in 2012 and finished with 109 points, advancing to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs before bowing out to the eventual champion Los Angeles Kings.
Davidson, 59, is widely known as a man who brought a vision to St. Louis, one formed by many years in both the broadcast booth and as a player at the game's highest level.
He partnered with legendary New York Rangers play-by-play voice Sam Rosen (on the MSG network) for 20 years and received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009 for contributions to broadcasting. Along with Mike Emrick, he shared the 2004 Lester Patrick Trophy in recognition of his service to the sport in the United States.
BlueJackets.com has you covered throughout the day, bringing you breaking news, pictures, live social media updates, tweets, and more as we welcome "JD" and his family to the Blue Jackets organization.