The Carolina Hurricanes hired former Atlanta Thrashers general manager Don Waddell as the president of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, per the team’s website. Waddell was GM in Atlanta from the team’s inception in 1998 until 2010, just one year before the team moved to Winnipeg.
Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. said of the hire, “Don is a very experienced and well-respected hockey executive. He will bring a fresh approach to the business side of the Carolina Hurricanes.”
Emphasis should be placed on the ‘business side’ of things. The Hurricanes probably don’t want to let Waddell anywhere near their roster as the Thrashers won zero playoff games in the 12 years under which their roster was constructed by Waddell.
Instead, the team will look to Waddell’s experience in growing the NHL brand in a non-traditional market. The Hurricanes are certainly well ahead of where the Thrashers were in that regard — winning a Stanley Cup will do that for a franchise — but it can’t hurt for the team’s ownership to hear a new voice in the front office.
Carolina ranked 23rd in the league in overall attendance last season thanks to a disappointing 2013-14 campaign that saw the team miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year. The team will look to GM Ron Francis for help in the standings, but now they have Waddell’s added experience for the business side of things.
Tags: Carolina Hurricanes