Henrik Lundqvist John Davidson
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Winning a Stanley Cup for Henrik Lundqvist is the last thing New York Rangers president John Davidson should be concerned with.

Frank Curto

The announcement of hiring John Davidson as the New York Rangers team president was a much-needed boost to the organization.

It’s only step No. 1, however. As great as this hire seems, the organization has to remain diligent on staying the course.

Winning a Stanley Cup for Henrik Lundqvist is the last thing the Rangers should be focusing on at the moment. 

There aren’t many similarities between Davidson, the player, and Hank. Unfortunately, the one similarity is the fact the neither has won a Stanley Cup. JD has to avoid making decisions solely on the opportunity of getting Henrik to another Cup final.

In 1979, Davidson took the Blueshirts all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. Montreal stood in their way and won Lord’s Stanley Cup by taking the series 4-1.

The 2014 Rangers, with Henrik in goal, went to the Finals against a tough Los Angels Kings squad, also falling in five games. 

That’s where any similarities end.

JD has to continue the work that former president Glen Sather began along with Jeff Gorton. The last two years must not be wasted because the organization decides to change the message.

Davidson needs to show he has faith in the direction that Jeff Gorton is taking the team in.

An unusual situation for a President

JD is in an unusual situation for a team president. The president is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the hockey club. He is normally the person who hires the general manager, scouts and other personnel who help run the team.

That is already done and under very little scrutiny with the Blueshirts.

Davidson will be quite involved in draft decisions and in some aspect with any free agency signings that team makes, but Jeff Gorton should continue steering that critical ship.

What JD needs to avoid is trying to rush the club to get back to the playoffs in hopes of getting another chance to play for a Stanley Cup before Lundqvist retires at the end of the 2021 season.

The Rangers are already going to have themselves a pretty hot goalie situation when training camp begins in September. Along with Lundqvist, the team will have Alexandar Georgiev, who as two consecutive shutouts in this years IIHF World Cup, and recently signed Igor Shesterkin, battling it out for two spots.

The pressure will be on JD and the organization to determine what works best for the team to continue the climb back to the playoffs. Henrik has two years remaining on his contract and will be 39-years-old at the conclusion of his current deal.

The newly hired president will have to find a way to make the face of the franchise happy while simultaneously keeping the future Blueshirts in games in order to develop the skills needed once Henrik’s time has come for him to retire.

JD, like most Lundqvist fans, would love to see Hernik hoist a cup over his head. That’s where the smart play must be made. This team is in no position to go back to the win-now mentality of past years. This is not 1994. This team is not two or three players away from a Stanley Cup run.

This team is three or four players away from getting back to playoff contention. The difference between the two examples is enormous. Davidson hs to keep his eye on the long term progress of the team.

When JD was a broadcaster for the team, he never held back his opinions. Good or bad, Davidson always was blunt and honest with the fans when talking about the play of the team.

Now, more than ever, is the time for similar bluntness. A realistic view of where the team is now and how to get it to the next level regardless of a fan favorite like Lundqvist is essential for the success of the Rangers and JD as a president.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at Nyrfc12@gmail.com