Blue Jackets Poised to Hire Don Waddell to Run Hockey Operations Per Report

By 1OB Staff on May 25, 2024 at 1:10 pm
Don Waddell
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, Don Waddell is set to become the Columbus Blue Jackets' new head of hockey operations.

An official announcement could come as early as Tuesday, according to reports.

Waddell would replace John Davidson, the Blue Jackets' President of Hockey Operations, who is expected to retire. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, Waddell will oversee hockey operations and serve as general manager, at least initially, in Columbus, though he may hire a general manager to fill the role vacated by Jarmo Kekalainen, who was fired by the club in February after over a decade in that role.

Waddell brings a wealth of experience to Columbus. He had been president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes since 2014 until he resigned from the Canes Friday following reports he interviewed in Columbus last week. Under his leadership, the Hurricanes have seen significant success, winning at least one round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the last six seasons.

Before his tenure with Carolina, Waddell was the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998 to 2010. During this time, he played a crucial role in building the team from its inception, guiding them to their first playoff appearance in 2007. Waddell has also served as an assistant general manager for the Detroit Red Wings, contributing to their Stanley Cup win in 1998.

Waddell, a Detroit native, played youth hockey for Detroit's Little Caesars before going on to play at Northern Michigan University. Towards the end of his playing career, he spent two seasons in Ohio with the Toledo Goaldiggers of the IHL.

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