Just when it seemed the Rangers had gone from a transactional organization to a strategic one, we were hit the news this afternoon that team owner Jim Dolan has fired president John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton. The move comes less than 24 hours after the team issued a statement condemning the NHL and singling out Director of the leagues Department of Player Safety George Parros following Monday night's game in which Tom Wilson punched a prone Pavel Buchnevich and went after Artemi Panarin.
Chris Drury has reportedly assumed the roles of President and General Manager, though it's not certain yet whether it is an interim or permanent appointment.
Elliot Friedman reports that it appears that yesterday's statement was driven by Dolan, rather than by team management, and that Dolan had been dissatisfied with the speed of the rebuild that has seen the Rangers miss the playoffs four straight seasons, albeit the same logic appears not to have been applied when Glen Sather took over a floundering franchise in 2000 and failed to make the playoffs four years running while trading away many of the top draft picks in the process.
The true nature of the decision will likely be debated and analyzed in the coming days, but for the moment we can all just wonder what the hell happened.
Where the Rangers go from here, is anyone's guess, but one does have to wonder whether David Quinn will have a job next year after seemingly be secure under the previous administration.
Chris Drury has been involved with the organization since retiring in 2011, working his way up the roster to assistant GM after acting as the GM for the Hartford Wolf Pack.
If Drury does indeed remain as the permanent President and GM, then he will look to shape the team in a direction that he expects, but perhaps not as dramatically as someone coming in new to the organization. David Quinn, who has been behind the bench for three seasons, could see his job at risk if Dolan is pressing for a result quickly, in which case Drury may elect to go the veteran coach route rather than continue with the less experienced Quinn.
From a team make-up perspective, there's still plenty to be done, with the team stumbling out of the gate, and then failing to match-up with the Islanders in the latter part of the season, before ultimately dropping out. Finding a way to correct that, will likely be at the top of the list.
In the mean time, you're probably as stunned as I am.