Blue Jackets name Don Waddell GM and President of Hockey Operations

NHL: NHL Awards

The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Don Waddell of Detroit, Michigan as their new general manager and president of hockey operations on Tuesday according to Michael Ostrower of The Hockey Writers. The Blue Jackets announcement came four days after Waddell resigned as president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Blue Jackets are the third team Waddell has been a National Hockey League general manager for. He was in charge of the Atlanta Thrashers before the franchise moved to Winnipeg from 1999 to 2010, and then the Hurricanes from 2018 to 2024.

Waddell was much more successful with the Hurricanes than the Thrashers. He had a record of 308 wins, 401 regulation losses, 45 ties, and 66 losses in extra time with Atlanta for a winning percentage of .443. Then, Waddell had a record of 278 wins, 130 regulation losses and 44 losses in extra time with Carolina for a winning percentage of .664.

Now it should be noted that at the time Waddell was the Thrashers general manager, Atlanta was an expansion franchise and the expectations were not very high. The expectations have been significantly higher in the Hurricanes organization over the last few years, and the fact that Carolina was unable to reach the Stanley Cup Finals in this time frame was a slight disappointment. Still, Waddell helped make the Hurricanes franchise a contender every season during his time there, and built a foundation in Carolina  that will make them a contender for the short term.

The only direction the Blue Jackets can go is up. This past season Columbus had the worst record in the Eastern Conference. They had a record of 27 wins, 43 regulation losses and 12 losses in extra time for 66 points. Columbus had 10 fewer points than the Montreal Canadiens, who had the second fewest points with 76.

One major problem for Columbus in 2023-24 was goals against. The Blue Jackets gave up 300 goals. Only the San Jose Sharks, which gave up 331 goals, gave up more goals in the NHL than Columbus.

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