“We want to thank J.D. and Jeff for their contributions to the organization,” Rangers owner James Dolan said in a statement. “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.”
Dolan’s decision to fire Gorton and Davidson was unexpected, given the Rangers are on the tail end of a rebuild.
The 44-year-old Drury, a former Rangers player, had received interest from other NHL teams for their general manager openings over the last two years, but he had turned them down to stay in New York as associate general manager under Davidson and Gorton.
“Chris is a very sought-after executive and a strong leader, who has proven himself to be one of the top young minds in hockey,” Dolan said. “We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans.”
Former Rangers general manager Glen Sather, who is now a senior adviser with the organization, will work with Drury in his transition.
The Rangers have two games remaining in the regular season. New York was eliminated from playoff contention Monday after a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals.
Gorton was in his 14th season with the Rangers, including his sixth as the team’s general manager. Davidson, a longtime broadcaster, returned to the club in 2019 after a stint as the Columbus Blue Jackets’ president.