John Davidson's days with the St. Louis Blues have come to a close.
In a joint press conference on Friday, both he and new Blues owner Tom Stillman announced that one-time broadcaster turned front-office success will move on from the organization to pursue other opportunities.
"We would like to thank JD for his commitment and dedication to the Blues organization over the past six seasons. He has been instrumental in revitalizing the Blues franchise and has built a strong foundation for our organization, which will ensure the club's success well into the future," said Stillman. "He has also developed one of the top teams in the game today. We wish JD, Diana, and their daughters, Lindsay and Ashley, great health, happiness, and success in their future endeavors. We will always consider them part of the Blues family."
The Post-Dispatch initially reported last week that a source close to the situation revealed that club agreed to a buy-out for an undisclosed amount. Davidson, who rose to the rank of president of hockey operations, had three years remaining on his current contract and is owed approximately $6 million.
Davidson came to the Blues in 2006 along with then-owner Dave Checketts, after the club finished with the worst record in the NHL the previous season. It broke a string of 25 consecutive playoff appearances for the franchise (1980-2004), which entered the league in 1967.
Under his watch, the Blues remained competitive in the stacked Western Conference, bringing in top talent like Paul Kariya, Doug Weight and Jaroslav Halak, while hiring Jack Adams Trophy winner Ken Hitchcock early this past season to turn a struggling squad into a Central Division winner.
St. Louis finished 49-22-11 in 2011-12, posting its second-highest point total in franchise history next to a 114-point campaign in 1999-2000. However, despite allowing the fewest goals in the NHL, the Blues were eliminated in the second round by the eventual champion Los Angeles Kings in a four-game sweep.
"St. Louis has been nothing but outstanding to me and my family and we have enjoyed every minute here," Davidson admitted. "Although we did not accomplish the ultimate goal, I am proud of where this team is on and off the ice, and they are in excellent hands with this management team. St. Louis and the Blue Note will always be in our hearts, and we wish the organization and these great fans nothing but success in the near future."
Checketts sold the Blues, with NHL approval, to Stillman, a St. Louis native and brewery magnate, in early May.
The 59-year-old Davidson played parts of 10 seasons as a goaltender with the Blues and Rangers. He spent three decades on television in Canada and the United States, winning the 2009 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his contributions to broadcasting.