Don Waddell expected to join Blue Jackets in management role

Don Waddell
Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
26 days ago
It’s been a day since Carolina Hurricanes president and general manager Don Waddell resigned from his position, and he’s already expected to step into the shoes of another top job with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
On Saturday, TSN‘s Pierre LeBrun revealed that if things go smoothly, Waddell’s new position at the top of hockey operations with the Blue Jackets should be announced over the coming week. 
Waddell has been the leading man in charge of the Hurricanes over the past 10 seasons, serving as president, and in 2018, he took on the team’s general manager role. However, all that would end on Friday when the 65-year-old resigned from the organization to pursue other opportunities, naming Eric Tulsky as interim general manager.
Waddell’s tenure with the Hurricanes saw the organization soar to new heights. The team made the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the last six seasons and the Eastern Conference Final in both 2019 and 2023.
Back in Columbus, John Davidson serves as the president of hockey operations and interim general manager following Jarmo Kekalainen’s firing in February, so there’s little to know about how Waddell’s addition to the Blue Jackets would affect the current situation.
However, Waddell isn’t the only man rumoured to be joining the ranks with a different organization. On Friday’s episode of Daily Faceoff LIVE, Frank Seravalli speculated that Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland might be joining Waddell in Columbus, further heightening rumours of Holland being another front-runner for the vacancy. 
Holland is still looking to close out the 2023-24 campaign in a big way as the Oilers continue their journey in the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars. However, the end of the season will also mark the closure of his five-year deal signed with the team back in 2019. 
Holland was noncommittal about his future with the Oilers after the 2022-23 season but emphasized his goal of hoisting another Stanley Cup.
The prospect of Holland and Waddell reuniting in Columbus carries a nostalgic weight. In 1997-98, Holland served as the Detroit Red Wings executive Vice President of hockey operations and general manager, hiring Waddell as his assistant general manager. Together, they celebrated a Stanley Cup victory for the Red Wings, marking a significant chapter in their shared history. 
Holland, similar to Waddell, has done notable work in Edmonton, signing significant players such as Zach Hyman and Evander Kane, but has also made his fair share of mistakes. Regardless of the fate of the current general manager, things could be interesting for the  Oilers following the conclusion of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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