Opinion: Missing John Davidson as an NHL Analyst

John Davidson of the Columbus Blue Jackets
Photo: WBNS-10TV

I have always looked up to and admired current Columbus Blue Jackets President, Hockey Operations/Alternate Governor John Davidson.

This has been the case ever since I was a young boy. I grew up watching him as a broadcaster with the New York Rangers as well as several national networks.

I loved how much he knew about the game, how connected he was in the game, how he explained the sport to others, and how his enthusiasm for hockey would shine through on every broadcast. All of these things are why he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.

I was a bit bummed out when he left the broadcast booth to go join the St. Louis Blues front office beginning in the 2006-07 season. I got over my initial disappointment and hoped that he would one day win the Stanley Cup, which was especially the case when he came back to the Rangers.

After he was let go by the Blueshirts, I was hoping that Davidson would want to get back to the broadcast booth instead of going back to the Blue Jackets. You see, it was as an analyst that Davidson became one of my hockey idols.

One reason why I loved Davidson as an analyst is the fact that he was perhaps the best analyst in the history of the sport. He basically worked for every network that covered hockey, covered the game on both the radio and the Internet, and was probably the most prepared analyst in the sport.

Another reason I loved his work as an analyst is because of the little things he noticed. He was able to point out things like equipment changes, the way a player holds the stick, a new strategy that a coach tried to implement, etc. Chances are that if it was a little detail that was not noticeable via the fan’s eyes, it was something that was apparent to JD.

This leads me to the next reason why watching and listening to JD as hockey’s premier analyst was such a treat. He knew how to explain the game to the fans.

JD was and still is one of the game’s biggest ambassadors. He knew that going into each broadcast, there would be an opportunity to attract a new hockey and because of that, he made sure to explain the game to the viewers as if he was sitting at a bar with them watching the game.

Lastly, one always came away learning something new about the league when they watched or listened to JD. Davidson seemed to know and have a pulse on everything that was going on in the league, and because of that, he was able to share interesting tidbits with the viewers.

I know he is still with the Blue Jackets, but I would love it if he decided to return to the booth and go back to being the best analyst in our great game.

Patrick Hoffman

Patrick covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave, WTP Sports, Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

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