Dolan: Rangers lacked 'overall spirit and culture' under Gorton, Davidson
New York Rangers owner James Dolan believes his club needs a culture reset.
The Rangers fired team president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton in a surprise move Wednesday, appointing former Rangers forward and assistant GM Chris Drury to both roles.
Dolan explained the changes Thursday.
"I saw a weakness in the team that was not being addressed, and I knew it needed to be," he told Larry Brooks of the New York Post. "I knew that we were missing a key component to us being a Stanley Cup contender.
"And that is the overall spirit and culture that goes with being a team. I believe that as good of a job as JD and Jeff have done, in speaking with them, it is clear to me that Chris Drury was going to be the right guy to lead the team forward."
The firings of Gorton and Davidson came just one day after the Rangers issued a scathing statement calling for George Parros to be removed as head of the NHL Department of Player Safety; Parros did not suspend Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson for his controversial actions in Monday's contest between the Rangers and Capitals.
But Dolan said he began to contemplate a change earlier this season during a critical stretch in which he felt the team failed to meet expectations.
"I started thinking about it 20 or 25 games ago at a time when the team really needed to show heart," Dolan said, according to Brooks. "And we had key games - I won't be specific - where we had to show up and had to come out strong, and even if we lost, it had to be our best effort.
"And we clearly had nowhere close to our best effort."
The Rangers named Gorton as GM in May 2015 and appointed Davidson as president in May 2019. New York has missed the playoffs in three of the past four seasons and was swept out of last year's qualifying round by the Carolina Hurricanes.