Off the ice, the Rangers’ management shake-up has begun. Chris Drury, 44, the associate general manager, will become the team’s new president and general manager. Drury, the N.H.L. rookie of the year in 1999, spent the last four seasons of his playing career with the Rangers and joined the team’s front office in 2015. Glen Sather, who has been a senior adviser with the team since 2019, will work with Drury during the transition period.
The Rangers have not made the traditional N.H.L. playoffs since the 2016-17 season, though they participated in last year’s postseason format, which was expanded because the coronavirus pandemic had interrupted the season.
“We want to thank J.D. and Jeff for their contributions to the organization,” James L. Dolan, the team owner, said in a statement announcing the firings of Davidson and Gorton. “They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers, however, in order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership.”
Davidson said at his introductory news conference two years ago that he was eager to work with Gorton and Coach David Quinn to develop a culture of accountability with the Rangers. Quinn, the former men’s hockey coach at Boston University, is finishing his third season behind the Rangers’ bench.
Gorton, 52, and Davidson, 68, were overseeing a rebuild that began in earnest with a letter sent to the fan base in February 2018. Since then, the Rangers have made six first-round draft picks, including the heralded forwards Kaapo Kakko at No. 2 in 2019 and Alexis Lafreniere at No. 1 in 2020.
“There are no quick fixes,’’ Davidson said when he was hired. “It’s hard work, it’s patience and it’s having the proper resolve.”