On Wednesday, May 5, the New York Rangers hockey team shocked the league with the dismissal of the team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton.
Rangers boss James Dolan did not specify a specific reason for the shocking dismissal. Instead, he thanked John Davidson and Jeff Gorton for their contributions to the team.
“They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers, however, in order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership,” said Dolan.
Chris Drury, the team’s associate general manager, will take over as president and general manager.
“Chris is a very sought-after executive and a strong leader, who has proven himself to be one of the top young minds in hockey. We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans,” said Dolan.
Controversy erupted over the Rangers’ last game against the Capitals when Capitals strongman went berserk.
“Wilson’s dangerous and reckless actions caused an injury to Artemi Panarin that will prevent him from playing again this season. We view this as a dereliction of duty by NHL head of player safety, George Parros, and believe he is unfit to continue in his current role.”
Watch the third period in the game that ended the Rangers’ finals hopes.
Third starts now. pic.twitter.com/bfRdOGlnwT
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) May 2, 2021
Drury, 44, a former Rangers captain, was promoted from assistant general manager to associate general manager in February after declining interviews with other teams for general manager positions. Since 2015, he’s been a part of the front office, working alongside Gorton and managing the team’s AHL Hartford affiliate.
According to USA Today, a source close to the situation confirmed that this is the intention going forward because owner Dolan has no plans to interview other candidates.
According to New York Post, the firings resulted from a schism between Dolan’s and Davidson’s philosophies, with sources claiming that the CEO feels it’s time to move on from the recovery phase. At the same time, the now-retired front office executives have continued to preach patience and a longer-term perspective on the situation.
Also, according to New York Post, the sources said that Dolan had been considering parting ways with Davidson and Gorton for some time. Dolan is often said to have been irritated by the hockey hierarchy’s selection of talented players and overlooking will players that can inspire and protect—and brawl when required. The team’s grit and leadership shortcomings were illustrated in recent mismatches against the Islanders, which could have accelerated, if not prompted, this stunning decision.
The Rangers have yet to set a date or time for a press conference to discuss the firing of their top executives.