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John Davidson: ‘Stanley Cup Finals Is A Pick-Em’

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 04: Dwight King #74 of the Los Angeles Kings fights for the puck against Raphael Diaz #4 of the New York Rangers during Game One of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the Staples Center on June 4, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Kings-New York Rangers (Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

John Davidson has done it all in the game of hockey. He’s played, he’s broadcasted and now he’s an executive. He’s currently the president of hockey operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

So, which role has Davidson liked the most?

It’s a tie. They all win.

“I like being right in the middle of things, which I am now,” Davidson said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You go through a lot emotionally every day. I call them curveballs. You get a curveball every day. Somebody gets injured, somebody (could) get sick, somebody’s family having an issue or a car accident – (there’s) something every day. Every day you get a curve ball and you deal with that, along with trying to put a team together and develop a team and deal with agents and the whole thing. It’s all part of the business, which I’ve enjoyed.”

Davidson was a color commentator for the Rangers from 1986 to 2006.

“I loved my broadcasting,” he said, “especially working with Sam (Rosen), working at Madison Square Garden – along with all the network stuff I did. People were very good to me. Joe Micheletti’s a very close friend of mine and I’m happy he’s been able to become part of it working with Sam. They just do a terrific job.”

That Davidson has spent so much of his life in New York is a bit of a surprise. He remembers getting traded from St. Louis to New York early in his career.

“That, to me, was a culture shock,” he said. “It took me a while to get used to how New York is. It can swallow you and spit you up and spit you out. Early in my term there, I think that was close to happening, but eventually it worked. I made a ton of friends there. I love getting back there.”

“I know one thing,” Davidson continued. “When you can make it in New York, in a lot of different ways, that old song – that (Frank) Sinatra song – you can make it anywhere. It’s so true. You’ve seen athletes (go there). Some do very well, some can’t handle it. I loved it. It’s just a great place. When you make friends with New Yorkers, they’re friends for life.”

Davidson has appreciated the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Finals.

“Watching them this season get into where they are now, I look at it and say, ‘Gee, that could have been us,’” Davidson said. “I wish we would’ve played the Rangers in the first round. Who knows what would have happened?”

“But more than anything else – and I mean this sincerely – all those fans that support the Rangers and have for years and years and years and years, that’s what I love seeing. There’s really good people who continue to go and watch them and pull for them and watch them and pull for them.”

Although the Rangers coughed up a 2-0 lead in Game 1 – and lost 3-2 in overtime – Davidson still feels the series is a toss-up.

“I think it’s a pick-em,” he said. “I really do. Two good goaltenders. The thing about the Kings is, they’re very hard to kick them when they’re down. They find a way to get off the mat. They’ve done it so many times in these playoffs that I find it really interesting. They have that belief that if they’re down 2-0, big deal, we’ll come back. When you do get them down, you got to really make sure you take advantage of it.”

“The biggest thing about hockey right now is it’s not predictable,” Davidson continued. “I honestly don’t know who’s going to win. I have no idea. And that’s why our game is better than it’s ever been. No one can really predict what the heck is going to happen.”

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