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Report: John Davidson will visit Blue Jackets again this weekend

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
John Davidson will interview with the Blue Jackets this weekend, according to a Columbus newspaper report. (Getty Images)

John Davidson's name has been connected to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a few months, and as soon as he agreed to a buyout with St. Louis last month speculation once again started that he could be making a move within the Central Division.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, Davidson will be in Columbus this weekend for interviews with Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell and president Mike Priest.

Davidson reportedly met with the Blue Jackets back in June when he had a 30-day negotiating window in his contract when the sale of the Blues was finalized to Tom Stillman.

More from the Dispatch:

It's unclear how Davidson would fit within the Blue Jackets' hockey operations department, but it's widely assumed around the NHL that he would need the promise of complete autonomy, just as he had with the Blues since joining them as president in 2006.

In that scenario, Davidson would likely assume the title of president of hockey operations, giving him authority of general manager Scott Howson and all hockey decisions. Priest could switch strictly to the business side of the organization, while retaining his rights to serve on the NHL board of governors.

McConnell and Priest have said for more than a year that the Blue Jackets were interested in adding experienced, proven executives to their front office if such a person became available.

Davidson spent the past seven years in the St. Louis front office and was a key figure in the rebuilding that resulted in what was one of the best seasons in franchise history during the 2011-12 campaign. The Blues finished the regular season with 109 points (second-most in franchise history) and winning the Central Division.

The Blue Jackets could certainly use a new direction within their organization after finishing with (by far) the worst record in the NHL last season with just 65 points, nine points worse than the second lowest total in the league (the Edmonton Oilers with 74). It was a brutal season for a franchise and fan base that has never known anything different.

In their 11-year existence the Blue Jackets have qualified for the playoffs just one time (never winning a postseason game) and have finished with just one winning record.

Last season was especially disappointing given the offseason additions of Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski. Carter never seemed to fit in with the Jackets and was eventually traded to Los Angeles (where he would help the Kings win their first Stanley Cup) for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick.

This summer the Blue Jackets traded their all-time leading scorer, Rick Nash, to the New York Rangers for a package of players that included Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, and defenseman Tim Erixon.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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