The New York Rangers announced Wednesday that team President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton are leaving the organization.
Associate General Manager Chris Drury has been promoted to president and general manager, effective immediately, the team said in a statement.
This comes after the front office called out the NHL Department of Player Safety for only fining Capitals forward Tom Wilson $5,000 after he set off a massive brawl during Washington’s 6-3 victory against the New York Rangers.
The incident happened in the second period after Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek made a save, USA Today reports. Several players pushed for position in the crease, and Rangers right wing Pavel Buchnevich fell to the ice. Wilson punched Buchnevich in the back of the head while he was prone. Wilson then body-slammed a helmetless Artemi Panarin to the ice as other players and referees got involved to break up the fight.
The article states Wilson received a 10-minute misconduct penalty and four minutes for roughing. Once he entered the penalty box, he flexed in a taunting gesture.
The Rangers released a statement on Tuesday, saying they are “extremely disappointed” Wilson was not suspended for “his horrifying act of violence.”
“Wilson is a repeat offender with a long history of these type of acts and we find it shocking that the NHL and their Department of Player Safety failed to take the appropriate action and suspend him indefinitely,” the team said.
The president and general manager were fired less than 24 hours after Tuesday’s statement. Wednesday’s game between the Rangers and Capitals started with three altercations within the first few seconds and three additional fights within the first few minutes of the first period.
In the Wednesday statement announcing their firing, Executive Chairman of MSG Sports James Dolan thanked Davidson and Gorton for their contributions to the organization.
“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 said.
Drury is in his sixth season as part of the Rangers front office. He first served as the team’s director of player development for the 2015-16 season, was promoted to assistant general manager in 2016, and promoted to associate general manager earlier this year.
“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.”
He also played four seasons with the Rangers and was captain for three of them. Over his first three seasons with the Rangers, Drury led the team in goals (61) and points (146), ranked second in assists (85), and tied for second in game-winning goals (10), the team said. In addition, the Rangers made the playoffs three times during Drury’s four seasons with the team.