Weeks after stunning dismissal from New York Rangers, John Davidson rejoins Columbus Blue Jackets as president

John Davidson has agreed to a five-year deal to return to the Columbus Blue Jackets as president of hockey operations, the team announced Thursday.

The Blue Jackets also announced that general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

"John Davidson and Jarmo Kekalainen worked tirelessly and effectively together to transform our hockey club from a team with one Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance in 12 seasons to one that reached the postseason five times in seven years from 2013-20," team president Mike Priest said in a statement. "This is an important time for our organization and having stability and proven leadership at the top of our hockey operations department is critical for us to do what we want to do, which is bring a Stanley Cup championship to Columbus.

"Signing Jarmo to an extension and then bringing J.D. back gives us the right people to address the opportunities and challenges before us and we couldn't be more excited."

Davidson was hired by Columbus in October 2012 after six years as president of the St. Louis Blues. Davidson was at the helm when the franchise hired both Kekalainen and coach John Tortorella, who recently completed his time with the franchise after six years.

Davidson is credited with helping to grow the Blue Jackets' stature and fan base during his time in Columbus.

Davidson left the Jackets in May 2019 to return to the New York Rangers, where he competed as a player and worked as a broadcaster. He served as team president until earlier this month, when the Rangers parted ways with Davidson and GM Jeff Gorton following their fourth straight season outside of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Davidson, 68, a goaltender in the NHL from 1973 to 1983, issued a statement after the Rangers' decision, thanking the fans and the city.

"I am very proud of the work we have done," he said, "and believe this team's future is very bright."