New York Rangers president John Davidson spoke about his first year back with the club and much more on “MSG 150 at Home.”
Oh, baby! New York Rangers president John Davidson was a guest on “MSG 150 at Home” on Wednesday night. Host Bill Pidto and Steve Valiquette welcomed J.D. as the three discuss how he’s adjusting and staying focused on the job during these uncertain times.
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On staying in touch with players
“We do a lot of different things, it’s multi-faceted,” Davidson said. “It has to do with the players and their programs and where they are now. Our training staff is in touch with all our guys all over the world every day. They do virtual training sessions. They do a little bit of everything to ensure everyone is good, including their well-being.”
His thoughts on the team and his first year back in New York
“I had a chance to fulfill a dream and come back to New York. I’m very impressed with a lot of the things that are in place here with Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury,” Davidson recalled. “They’ve done a marvelous job. The coaching staff is solid. And the players have the understanding on what it’s going to take to become an elite athlete.
“The biggest example would be Mika Zibanejad, how he’s changed his career by caring more about a lot of different things. He’s a great guy. And to see him have success, it’s special. And also to see the young guys coming up. And there’s going to be a lot more young guys coming. It’s a pretty good time to be a Rangers fan.”
Zibanejad was having a career year for the Blueshirts despite missing some time due to injury. He tallied 42 goals with 75 points in 57 appearances. Mika has been the center of the most consistent line combinations along with Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.
In the 11 games prior to the NHL pause, Zibanejad recorded 15 goals with 19 points as he led the Rangers back to within two points of a wild card spot.
On the positive direction of the franchise
“It’s hard to win in this league. You build a foundation and take it a step at a time,” Davidson said. “You have to make good moves. It’s hard to make great moves every time you make a move. But your batting percentages have to be pretty good. And I think there’s been a lot of good things happening here in that direction.”
The good things happening in Rangerstown took an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team and the entire NHL is in the midst of a self-quarantine until April 29 at the earliest.
The team allowed its players to return to their home cities after the announcement of the pause. Kaapo Kakko, Mika Zibanejad, and Henrik Lundqvist have all traveled back to Europe. Their return to the U.S. and New York City might be an issue for Davidson and the team depending on tight travel restrictions currently in place.
For now, the problems in the world were put aside for a home interview by one of the Rangers’ favorite people. Davidson gives fans a lift with the smile and pride he displays as a returning member of the Rangers.
In a time with no sports, it was great to hear from Davidson. The future of this season is still in doubt, but one thing remains certain—J.D. was the right choice to become president.
With his staff of Jeff Gorton, Chris Drury and David Quinn, good things will happen for the Blueshirts.
With the continuation of the season still in question, Davidson made fans aware that this team is heading in the right direction. The NHL needs to be aware, the Rangers are heading back to the playoffs.