August 19, 1958 |
Detroit, MI, USA
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Played for||New Haven Nighthawks (AHL)
Flint Spirits (IHL)
Toledo Goaldiggers (IHL)
Flint Generals (IHL)
Augsburger EV (Germany)
Saginaw Gears (IHL)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Houston Apollos CHL
Tulsa Oilers (CHL)
|NHL Draft||111th overall, 1978
Los Angeles Kings
Donald Waddell (born August 19, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan) is the former, and last President of the Atlanta Thrashers and a former professional ice hockey defenseman. He is currently President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League.
Waddell was selected 111th overall, in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. He was selected as the 3rd choice of the Los Angeles Kings on June 15, 1978. He played in the NHL for only one game with the Kings during the 1980–81 season, against the New York Rangers on January 28, 1981.
His playing career consisted mostly of minor and college hockey. He played 4 seasons at Northern Michigan University. He was one of the final cuts for the 1980 U.S. men's hockey team after he broke his leg in a pre-tournament game. He won the International Hockey League's Governor's Trophy in 1982 for best defenseman during the regular season.
After his tenure as a player, he moved to coaching for the 1987–88 season with the IHL Flint Spirits as a player-coach. For the next two seasons, he moved behind the bench permanently. Waddell moved on to the IHL San Diego Gulls for the 1991–92 season. Waddell took over as interim coach of the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2002–03 season with a record of 4–5–1–0 as coach before Bob Hartley was named to the permanent job.
After a disappointing start (0–6–0) to the 2007–08 Atlanta Thrashers season, Waddell was named interim head coach of the team following the dismissal of Bob Hartley. For several months, he was able to lead the team on a turn around, but the Thrashers ultimately played poorly down the stretch and missed the playoffs.
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|ATL||2002–03||10||4||5||1||0||(74)||3rd in Southeast||Missed Playoffs|
|ATL||2007–08||76||34||34||-||8||(76)||4th in Southeast||Missed Playoffs|
Waddell's first front-office experience came with the International Hockey League's Flint Spirits during the 1988-89 season when he served in the duel role of head coach and general manager. He moved into Flint's front office exclusively for the 1989-90 season before joining the IHL's San Diego Gulls. He was vice president and general manager for the Gulls from 1990-95 before accepting the same role with the IHL's Orlando Solar Bears. While in Orlando, Waddell was also vice president of RDV Sports and served on the organization's executive committee which oversaw the NBA's Orlando Magic, the Solar Bears and RDV Sports' retail and aviation interests.
Detroit Red Wings
On June 23, 1998, just one week after the Red Wings swept the Washington Capitals in the 1998 Stanley Cup Finals, Waddell was named the first general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers. He served as general manager of the Thrashers until the conclusion of the 2009-10 season when he was promoted to team president, and Rick Dudley succeeded him as general manager. During his tenure as general manager of the Thrashers, the team recorded a 308-401-45-66 record and made their lone playoff appearance after winning the NHL's Southeast Division in 2006-07. Waddell also served as executive vice president and co-chair of the executive committee for the Thrashers' parent company, Atlanta Spirit.
Following True North's purchase of the Thrashers, Waddell announced he would not be moving with the team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.
Waddell was named President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, on July 1, 2014.
Awards and honors
|All-CCHA First Team||1977-78|
|All-CCHA First Team||1979-80|
|IHL Governor's Trophy||1981-82|
- Bob McKenzie (2007-10-17). "Thrashers fire head coach Hartley". TSN.ca. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
- Don Waddell's player profile at NHL.com
- Don Waddell's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Don Waddell's biography at Legends of Hockey
|Awards and achievements|
|CCHA Player of the Year
|General Manager of the Atlanta Thrashers
|Interim Head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers