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Seravalli speculates Ken Holland and Don Waddell could land together in Columbus

Ken Holland Don Waddell
Photo credit:Left: Screengrab. Right: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
28 days ago
The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs rage on. With the conference final rounds now one game in, we’re already seeing teams across the league get a head start on their offseason work.
The Tampa Bay Lightning re-acquired Ryan McDonagh, multiple coaching moves have shaken out, and we saw the New York Islanders trade back two spots in the draft on Friday.
And while the Edmonton Oilers are still in the midst of a hunt for their first finals berth since 2006, the rumour mill has already been spinning about the future of general manager Ken Holland. On an expiring contract, word came out last week that he was considered a front-runner for the vacant Columbus Blue Jackets general manager job.
Word also spread that another person considered a front-runner for that same role, longtime Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell, had resigned from the team to pursue other opportunities.
According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, those opportunities could see Holland and Waddell join forces in Columbus.
The Canes did just put out a press release… that Don Waddell has stepped down and Eric Tulsky takes over as the interim GM. They acknowledge in the press release a ‘full search has begun for a permanent general manager.’ I believe that search will include lots of external candidates. I beleive they’ve begun that process of trying to contact teams around the league.
They let him go five weeks early to pursue other potential opportunites, which could include Columbus, as he did interview with the Blue Jackets yesterday for their vacancy.
Right now there’s only one apparent vacancy unless there’s something else happening, and the other part, too, and this is just speculation on my part, the rumours with Ken Holland leaving the Edmonton Oilers and linking him to Columbus, those certainly haven’t died. The dot that I wanted to connect is that Don Waddell and Ken Holland are pretty close. It wouldn’t shock me at all to see those guys team up at some point to work together, potentially in Columbus. That could make a lot of sense.
The Oilers hired Ken Holland on May 7th, 2019, and he signed a five-year contract that expires this summer. When last season wrapped up, Holland was non-committal about his future with the organization but talked about his desire to win another Stanley Cup.
Holland and Waddell’s relationship dates back to the 1997-98 season when the former was the Detroit Red Wings executive vice president of hockey operations and general manager. He had hired Waddell as the Red Wings’ assistant general manager and general manager of their IHL affiliate Orlando Solar Bears. Waddell lasted only one year there; however, he left a year later to join the startup Atlanta Thrashers ahead of the 1999-00 season.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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