It was going to take somewhere pretty special for John Davidson to leave Columbus.
Davidson was introduced as president of the New York Rangers on Wednesday, and while for Columbus fans it's discouraging to see him go, the Blue Jackets should be thankful they got to enjoy him for as long as they did.
Davidson is one of the more valuable members in the history of the Blue Jackets' organization. His "brick by brick" motto since his onboarding as president of hockey operations in 2012 was a stapled mindset of the direction of the franchise.
After making the playoffs once in it's first 12 seasons, the Blue Jackets rattled over four postseason appearances in six seasons under Davidson's watch, and have been one of the more successful clubs in the NHL the past three years. Davidson's standard and history of excellence came to fruition in his time in Columbus sooner than most expected and left the club with a hope that will carry beyond his departure.
In his introductory press conference on Wednesday in New York, the retired player, legendary broadcaster and seasoned front-office member fought back tears when referring to the city he fought to gain national respect for seven seasons.
"It's an emotional time for sure," said Davidson after a long pause to compose himself. "And it's a great night for myself and my family."
It really wasn't easy for Davidson to leave, as much as someone would think leaving Ohio for New York would be easy. Davidson made that clear.
"It's no secret that New York always held a very special place in my heart. This is the only organization I would have left Columbus for."
Davidson continued with his press conference to answer questions from the media and his perspective on the Rangers' future, but not before giving some final thank-you's to Columbus.
"I want to thank John P. McConnell, Mike Priest and the entire Columbus Blue Jackets' organization," said Davidson. "Columbus is a great city, the Blue Jackets are a very proud club and I wish them all the best. They’re in very good hands.”
Those hands? They'll mainly be the ones of Jarmo Kekkalainen, who is now taking on the role of alternate governor for the Blue Jackets.
Based on the manner in which Davidson spoke and continues to speak about the Blue Jackets' organization, it's clear he wanted to make sure the club was set up well before he ever left. That seems like the case here.
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