Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Patrick Factor

Because I didn't have a pic of
John Davidson, I used this one
of Craig Patrick.
Today the Columbus Dispatch's incomparable Puck Rakers broke the news that John Davidson has interviewed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  In addition, they added a nice Cannon Fodder podcast on the subject, that is definitely worth a listen.  Jeff Little over at Ten Minute Misconduct was all over this story, and had a really boss picture, which I don't have.  I was at work.  Which was good because I found out today my All Star tix were gonna cost north of $800.  Hmm.  Back to work early tomorrow.

So what do I have to offer to this breaking story.  Well I certainly agree with the Puck Rakers that its hard to put a price on what Davidson could bring.  But, it is also VERY clear, that whatever moves that have happened in the organization recently have had a stamp of approval from Craig Patrick.

And this is as it should be.  Patrick was brought in, with his impeccable hockey pedigree, to provide a sounding board for strategy to Scott Howson, who is good but lacks experience  relatively inexperienced.  Patrick has been pivotal in decision making, and it seems unlikely that the senior executives are going to back away from that any time soon.  So how do Craig Patrick and John Davidson fit together?

It turns out, that in 1980, Patrick coached the Rangers for part of the year, and Davidson was a goal tender on the downside of his career.  (my sources are wikipedia, and the NHL website.  Pretty public stuff).  In fact, Patrick may well have sent Davidson to the minors in 1980.  You need a long time Rangers fan to provide the details.  But the fact is that Davidson emerged from his hockey career with the Rangers, and moved into broadcasting at the same time that Patrick was General Manager of the Rangers.  It seems, they may go way back.

I don't know for sure, but if this gets done in the next 24 hours, I think we'll find that Patrick pushed hard for this as an invaluable addition to the front office.  From what I heard, I think he's probably right, again.



  1. DBJ: Great point on the Patrick connection - nice research work! But I wouldn't discount this possibly having a NHL office connection - see Patrick hire and coincidence of the ASG selection date coinciding with the January protest. Sorry to be from a position of 'zero trust'.

    That's the only way I could see this happening - that is, unless JD's obsessed with 'the build'.

    1. Hitch Rules: It was Gallos who wrote that post, but I'm sure he appreciates your praise.

      As to your theory, I can see a scenario where the NHL is helping pull strings to right the organizational ship in Columbus. It's the oddest situation when you think about it...committed ownership willing to spend, fantastic core fanbase in a sports-nutty town and over 10 straight years of hockey operations dysfunctionality. Would it surprise me to see JP McConnell or Mike Priest (on JPMac's orders) contact the league office to say, "Help us out here?" Not really.

      As for Davidson, I'm of two minds: 1) "The build" (your term) is appealing...and there might not be a more challenging "build" in professional sports than what we have with the Blue Jackets, and 2) I can't shake the feeling that Davidson is using a Columbus interview to roll the new ownership in St. Louis over a barrel.

    2. Re: 2) New ownership in STL has made it clear they are trying to shed executive positions within the organization. I doubt STL would hesitate in letting JD go if he were to try playing CBJ potential offer against continued employment with STL.


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