“We would like to thank JD and Jeff for their contribution to the organization. They are both excellent hockey professionals who have worked hard for the Rangers, however, in order for the team to succeed like our fans deserve there has to be a change. in leadership, ”Rangers owner and MSG Sports executive chairman James Dolan said in a statement. “Chris is a highly sought-after executive and a strong leader who has proven himself to be one of the best young minds in hockey. We are confident that he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long term success we have promised Rangers fans. “
It’s an amazing move considering the Rangers are at the end of a rebuild, which they completed earlier than expected.
Drury, a former Rangers player, had sparked interest from other teams in their GM roles over the past two years, but turned them down to remain New York’s associate GM.
Rangers legend Mark Messier, in an appearance Wednesday on the Michael Kay Show on 98.7 ESPN New York, was asked about his desire to get involved with the team.
“I made it very clear that I was standing there, ready to help in any way, for many years, so… other than that, I don’t really know what else to say,” Messier replied.
New York has three games to go and was eliminated from the playoffs on Monday with a loss. While many young players and team prospects have made great strides this season, it has been a tumultuous season in New York.
The Rangers released a statement on Tuesday calling for the impeachment of George Parros, chief of the NHL’s player safety department, after the league chose not to suspend Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson for two incidents. during a Monday night game.
According to sources, Gorton and Davidson were not involved in the release of this statement; it was from Dolan’s office.
The team also sacked defender Tony DeAngelo in February after a post-match altercation with his teammates following a loss. The Rangers signed DeAngelo for a two-year, $ 9.6 million contract extension last October. They couldn’t trade the 25-year-old this season and told him not to show up for their AHL team as they didn’t want him in the organization, sources said.
Later in February, star winger Artemi Panarin took time off from the team after allegations surfaced that he assaulted a woman in Latvia in 2011. Rangers called the story a fabrication and a means of ‘intimidate Panarin for “openly talking about recent political events” in his native Russia. Panarin has since joined the team, and the claims have never been substantiated.
Gorton was in his 14th season with the Rangers and his sixth season as general manager. Davidson, a longtime broadcaster, returned to the organization in 2019 after a stint as president of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After sending a letter to fans in February 2018 calling for reconstruction, the Rangers landed the No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft (Kaapo Kakko) and No. 1 in 2020 (Alexis Lafrenière). New York also signed a seven-year, $ 81.5 million contract with Panarin in 2019. In his first season in New York, Panarin was one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy.
The Rangers have almost entirely left the team that qualified for the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Chris Kreider is the only player remaining on that team’s roster.