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Davidson reportedly leaving Blues' front office

by Dan Rosen

John Davidson reportedly is leaving the St. Louis Blues after six seasons in the front office.

The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday that Davidson stepped down as the team's president of hockey operations, but his future in the business is unclear. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Davidson "agreed to a buyout offer from the Blues."

Davidson interviewed with Columbus Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell and club president Mike Priest on May 29 for a position in that organization's front office. He had three years left on a four-year contract he signed with the Blues last year, but he had a stipulation that gave 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 on May 9.

Davidson left the broadcast booth for a chance to run the Blues in 2006. He embarked on a rebuilding project that culminated last season with the Blues winning the Central Division, finishing second in the Western Conference and reaching the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the second round, St. Louis set several franchise records. The Blues won 49 games and put up 109 points in the process of winning their first division title since the 1999-2000 season. They also defeated the San Jose Sharks in the first round to win their first playoff series since 2002.

When Davidson arrived in St. Louis, the Blues were coming off a 57-point season in 2005-06.

The Blues improved to 81 points in Davidson's first season and dropped to 79 in his second before making a surprising run to the playoffs in 2009, when they finished with 92 points thanks to a 22-9-5 post-All-Star break record.

St. Louis didn't get back into the playoffs until last season, allowing Ken Hitchcock to win the Jack Adams Award and Doug Armstrong to win the GM of the Year Award.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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