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A Day After His Resignation, Don Waddell is Reportedly Announced with a New Club

Don Waddell resigned with the Carolina Hurricanes to reportedly become an executive of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Although at this time his expected title is unknown. Furthermore, his resignation came yesterday as the President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey club. Today it was announced that he is likely jumping on board with the Blue Jackets. Will he be able to turn the sole Ohio-based NHL club into what he did in Raleigh, North Carolina? It is tough to say. One thing is for sure, having Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour didn’t hurt.

Looks Like Don Waddell will be a Columbus Blue Jackets Executive

Don Waddell joins a Columbus team that is loaded with youthful talent. Can Waddell convince the right type of players to come join his new team? Columbus would benefit from veterans and defensively responsible players alike. Guys like Kirill Marchenko, Dmitri Voronkov, and Adam Fantilli need the right type of people around to look up to as leaders. But also, the right type of high-end skill. Through the development of players like Martin Necas or Sebastian Aho, a Waddell-led management regime has the type of proven track record for the right kind of experience for the task at hand. The Blue Jackets had a tough 2023-24, finishing last in the Metropolitan Division. They were 31st in the NHL in goals against. On the plus side they have the fourth overall selection in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. This will give Waddell a chance to start off on the right foot.

Major Carolina Hurricanes News as Off-Ice Changes Made

How About Some Stats

Waddell and Brind’Amour led the Hurricanes to the playoffs every year since 2018-19. Waddell’s career journey saw him go from player, to head coach, to general manager, to vice president, back down to assistant general manager, you get the idea. However, the assistant general manager role was actually quite a very significant one. The general manager that year was Ken Holland and it was the beginning of the changing of the guard. Scotty Bowman had past on the reigns the year prior to Holland. Furthermore, at the time, Bowman was sharing the role with Jim Devellano.

Devellano you may recall was the first GM ever hired by Mike Ilitch upon purchasing the Detroit Red Wings back in June 1982. Needless to say, somehow Don Waddell has been connected to hockey historical greatness, and perhaps destined to become a GM. The next year he would take over the GM job with the newly formed Atlanta Thrashers. Waddell stayed with the organization until their move to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Moreover, Waddell has often been as business and executive savvy and he was hockey intelligent. Back in 2014, he became President of the parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes. In 2018, that got changed to GM and president of the Hurricanes. 

Main photo credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports


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