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Davidson wins Foster Hewitt Memorial Award

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
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John Davidson, the former Rangers goaltender who became the team's television analyst for 20 years after his retirement, was honored Tuesday with the highest award given to a hockey broadcaster.

Davidson, three years into his role as the St. Louis Blues' President, left the broadcasting world in 2006, but his legacy has not been forgotten. On Tuesday, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that Davidson would be the 2009 recipient of the prestigious Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.

The Rangers thanked Davidson for his many years of service with a special ceremony in March 2007, where he was presented with a silver replica of the mask he made famous as a Blueshirt.
Named for the legendary Hockey Night in Canada announcer who set the standard for excellence in hockey broadcasting, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is a lifetime achievement honor given out annually since 1984. The award was created by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association in recognition of "members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey."

Davidson is the second Rangers announcer to win the award, following in the footsteps of longtime radio announcer Sal Messina, who was honored with the Hewitt Award in 2005.

Known to Rangers fans as "JD", the 56-year-old Davidson is best remembered as a player for his role in leading the Blueshirts to the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals. His career as a Ranger spanned six full seasons from 1975 to 1981 before injuries cut his playing days short in 1983. He returned to the organization in 1986 and served as a color commentator alongside broadcast partner Sam Rosen on MSG for the next 20 years.

Davidson has also worked as an analyst for CBC and other NHL hockey broadcast partners in the United States and Canada. Awarded the Lester Patrick Award in 2004 for his contribution to American hockey, Davidson’s distinguished broadcasting career includes lead analyst work at the past five Olympic Winter Games.

"John Davidson has had a remarkable career in almost every aspect of professional hockey, and we as a broadcast community benefited immensely from his expertise and professionalism,” said Chuck Kaiton, President, NHL Broadcasters’ Association. “He is an incredibly deserving recipient of this honour.”

Davidson will receive his award at a luncheon presentation on Nov. 9 as part of this year’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. He won't be the only Rangers alumnus involved in the Induction Weekend, since Brian Leetch will be inducted to the Hall of Fame that evening.

Also on Tuesday, the Hall of Fame announced that longtime Pittsburgh Penguins beat writer Dave Molinari would receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, which is the equivalent of the Hewitt for newspaper journalists. 
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