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BREAKING: Rangers CEO James Dolan shocks the world by firing John Davidson, Jeff Gorton

James Dolan, New York Rangers

New York Rangers CEO James Dolan has pulled the plug on president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

Associate general manager Chris Drury is expected to take over as the new Rangers GM, with Dolan set to go on a search for a new team president. Mark Messier is reportedly at the top of the wishlist.

This is a shocking move at the tail end of a disappointing season for New York. The Rangers were just eliminated from playoff contention on Monday as the team continues its rebuild. There are three games remaining.

New York was also recently involved in some drama. After Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson was only fined $5,000 for his dirty actions against Rangers star Artemi Panarin, the team put out a statement loudly condemning the decision.

One has to wonder if that whole situation played a role in these firings:

Here’s the reported reason Dolan is firing these two executives:

But a divergence of philosophies emerged between Dolan and the Davidson-Gorton ticket, with sources indicating that the CEO believes that it is time to take the next step in this process while the front office people have continued to preach patience and a longer-view panoramic take of situation.

As well, it is believed that the hockey hierarchy’s collection of skill players at the expense of will players did not sit well with Dolan. The recent mismatches against the Islanders highlighted the team’s deficiencies in grit and leadership and may have accelerated, if not prompted, this stunning decision.

Whatever the case, the Rangers have plenty of work to do in order to return to glory. The franchise hasn’t won a Stanely Cup since 1994 and last reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2014.