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Entries with the tag: don waddell

Don Waddell Is The Money Man In Carolina

from Luke DeCock of the News & Observer,

Don Waddell has been around the NHL long enough to hear the alarm bells ringing before he even arrived in town as President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment, parent company of the Carolina Hurricanes. The man who oversaw the sale and move of a struggling Sun Belt franchise to Canada is joining the Hurricanes?

“That was the first thing I had to address with the staff,” Waddell acknowledged this week over breakfast, one of dozens of get-acquainted meals he has brokered since taking over as team president last month.

His message: Waddell is here to grow the franchise, not move it.

Waddell is best known as the longtime general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, a job he held for 12 years, but he has considerable experience on the business side of things as well. He at one point oversaw the Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, before the hockey team moved to Winnipeg, ran minor-league franchises in San Diego and Orlando and served as a consultant for ownership groups interested in putting an NHL team in Seattle.

continued
 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Carolina Hurricanes, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell Remains Busy

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

With all that going on, Thrashers president Don Waddell still finds time to watch a little hockey. It’s in his blood after all.

Waddell moved full-time into the duties of team president in April after serving as the franchise’s general manager since its inception. While it’s been a busy offseason, , Waddell recently traveled to Lake Placid to watch three of the team’s prospects compete in evaluation camps for the 2011 World Junior Championships.

“I’m not going to lose that,” Waddell said. “I’m going to go out and watch games. You are going to see me take team trips.”

Waddell’s biggest challenge this summer, he said, has been trying to capitalize on the excitement generated by the team’s busy offseason. Rick Dudley was promoted to general manager, a new coaching staff is in place and there have been significant roster changes through trades and free-agent moves.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell’s Letter To The Atlanta Fans

from AtlantaThrashers.com,

After several months of negotiations toward a long-term contract with forward Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent, we were unable to reach an agreement and elected to trade Kovalchuk and defenseman Anssi Salmela to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier and a first round draft pick in 2010.

We want you, our fans, to know that throughout the negotiation process, the Thrashers organization remained committed to offering Ilya a contract that exceeded those of the league’s best and highest paid players, and was commensurate to his skill level and performance history.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell Statement On Kovalchuk Negotiations

from NHL.com,

Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell released the following statement Thursday afternoon regarding contract talks with winger Ilya Kovalchuk.

“Our goal from the start of this negotiating process was to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a long-term contract. During the process, Kovy affirmed his desire to be a Thrasher for life.  We’ve spent several months exploring scenarios with Kovy and his agent to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, and offered many lucrative packages in an attempt to meet his financial objectives.  Unfortunately, we’ve reached an impasse and at this point he has declined all of our proposals and we can’t reasonably go any higher.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell, ilya+kovalchuk

Afternoon Line

The final insult to Thrashers fans will come when Kovalchuk is traded by Waddell, a good hockey man who has run desert-dry of excuses and should’ve been replaced one or two years ago.

Unfortunately, the franchise’s still-festering ownership battle has allowed Waddell to stay in power. If he is permitted to retain that power once Kovalchuk departs, it will be impossible to blame any and all remaining Thrashers fans for abandoning ship as well.

-Adam Proteau of The Hockey News.  Read more from Adam on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Morning Line

“You really can’t control it. If you’re competing against other NHL teams, it’s one thing. If you’re competing against another country paying whatever—you can’t.  If his decision is to go play in Russia, I don’t think we can do anything. There’s only so much money you can pay.”

-Thrashers GM Don Waddell on the possibility of Kovalchuk signing with a team in Russia.  More from Custance on this topic.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell, ilya+kovalchuk

Don Waddell- Sports Collector

from Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Jounral-Constitution,

Don Waddell is a sports fan. Just like most fans, he loves to get an autograph.

The Thrashers general manager has accumulated an extensive collection over his career. While many of his autographs have come because of the executive positions he has held, most have not.

He’s driven to Cincinnati with cereal boxes to get Pete Rose and Johnny Bench signatures.

He’s waited outside Detroit’s Tiger Stadium to get autographs of childhood heroes. He even got the famed double-play combination of Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker to sign the same baseball. It’s one of over 200 signed baseballs has collected, many with Hall of Famer signatures.

He has books signed by Jack Nicklaus, Bill Walton and Howard Cosell.

continued

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Teflon Don Waddell

From Jeff Schultz at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

And then there’s the Teflon Don.

“I put myself in good company,” he said, managing a smile.

He’s employed. He’s fortunate. He knows that.

More than likely, if he worked in a bigger hockey market and for owners who cared about the sport and maybe something other than the next court hearing, he’d be out of work. So you could say heading an after-thought of a franchise has its benefits.

But I had to ask: Aren’t you surprised you still have a job?

“Not at all,” he said. “We’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity here . . .”


read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Don Waddell - Stay Or Go?

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Coaches, players and even owners have come and gone, but one man has been there from the start. Is it time to replace Don Waddell, the only general manager in Thrashers history? Waddell says he will be back with the same responsibilities he has always had. “No doubt about it,” he said Thursday night.

Here are three arguments for and against retaining him.

Reasons to make a change

1. Accountability.

No other NHL general manager has kept his job as long as Waddell with so little success. The Thrashers have played 737 games; they have won 272. Only seven active GMs have been with their current team as long as Waddell has been with the Thrashers. Three have won Stanley Cups. Two have reached the cup finals.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

The State Of The Thrashers With Don Waddell

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Q. You’ve said you won’t trade Ilya Kovalchuk. Are there any other players you rule out trading?

A. There are some guys that I won’t trade, but I’m not going to get into the names. There are certainly some younger guys, and you can figure it out, that we want to continue to build around.

Q. What’s the first priority you’re looking for in a trade?

A. A centerman would be No. 1, but if it’s a player that’s going to make us a better team at this point, particularly a forward, we’ll look at pretty much anything.

Q. When do you start having to make a decision, is this a team that has a chance to make a run or is it time to look to the future?

A. The trade deadline’s March 4. In February we only have [five] home games. We have to put ourselves in position over the next five, six weeks. If we don’t, it’s going to be tough for us.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell’s Job Still Safe in Atlanta

From Craig Custance at his Sporting News blog:

The job of general manager and executive vice president Don Waddell is safe—although [Thrashers co-owner Bruce] Levenson wouldn’t rule out any future changes.

“There’s nothing new with Don,” Levenson told sportingnews.com. “We look at our coaches and general managers all the time. We’ve made changes in the past—coaching and general managers in our organization (the Atlanta Spirit, which also owns the Atlanta Hawks). We look at that all the time.”

Waddell was hired as the general manager of the expansion Thrashers in 1998, and the team has only made the playoffs once. Early indications are that this year’s team is a longshot for postseason play.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

All Waddell

from Ben Wright at AtlantaThrashers.com,

Thrashers General Manager and Executive Vice President Don Waddell recently sat down with atlantathrashers.com for an exclusive one-on-one interview to discuss the reshaping of the team. Here is what the Thrashers general manager had to say.

Q. If training camp started today would you be happy to go into it with this group of players?

A. I’d be 100% content. First of all we’re going to have some younger players in the lineup and that’s a great opportunity for them and for our franchise. You look at defense with Enstrom being a second year player and Nic Havelid coming off a very good season last year. Adding a guy like Hainsey back there who can really move the puck will make a big difference. We’ve seen what Boris Valabik did in those last games down the stretch when he was here. Along with Ex and Kenny Klee we’re better on defense.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

The Atlanta Plan

from Mike Knobler of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

His first priority? A veteran defenseman. The Thrashers ranked worst in the league last season in shots allowed and tied for worst in goals allowed. But the team won’t necessarily go after a stay-at-home defenseman.

“You can argue both sides of that,” Waddell said, adding that an offensive defenseman can help prevent shots by helping keep the puck in the other team’s zone.

The Ottawa Sun reported the Thrashers want former San Jose Sharks player Brian Campbell and could offer the 29-year-old offensive defenseman more than $7 million.

Waddell laughed when asked about that, saying he couldn’t discuss individual players and “I haven’t told anybody what we’re going to spend.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+campbell, don+waddell

It’s Official: Thrashers Hire Anderson

After the mixed information yesterday, the Thrashers have now confirmed their choice of head coach, John Anderson. From the Globe & Mail:

“John has an impressive record of success as a head coach and we are excited to be adding him to our organization,” said [GM Don] Waddell. “He’s a proven winner whose leadership and experience behind the bench will play a vital role in the resurgence of our hockey club.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell, john+anderson

Zhitnik Sticking in Atlanta

From Mike Knobler at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Veteran defenseman Alexei Zhitnik remains in the Thrashers’ plans after a season in which he played only 65 games though he was paid $3.5 million.

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell rejected speculation the team might buy out the final year of Zhitnik’s contract.

“That’s never been talked about,” Waddell said. “We think he’ll be a big part of our future. We expect him to come back and be part of our team.”

For more of the latest rumors and signings, be sure to visit Spector.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alexei+zhitnik, don+waddell

Atlanta Coach Coming Soon

From Mike Knobler at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Waddell said he will begin interviewing three or four candidates later this week and that two of them will be [John] Anderson, coach of the Thrashers’ top minor-league affiliate, and [Brad] McCrimmon, the Thrashers’ associate coach. [Todd] McLellan, an assistant with the Detroit Red Wings, was in San Jose on Monday interviewing for the Sharks job and will interview for the Thrashers job, too, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

“He’s one of several people we’ve reached out to talk to,” Waddell said of McLellan, but there’s no guarantee he’s one of the ones who will have a face-to-face interview.

A coach will be in place before the NHL draft June 20-21, Waddell said.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brad+mccrimmon, don+waddell, john+anderson, todd+mclellan

Waddell Has Not Been Asked To Step Down

from Craig Custance of Thrashers Blog at the AJC,

Here’s the latest. I spoke with Atlanta Spirit Co-Owner Michael Gearon this morning…

Gearon said via cell this morning, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Waddell has not been asked to step down from his post as general manager. He called any reports that say otherwise “completely false.”

read on

*The contradictory report from Scott Burnside at ESPN, originally noted here at KK.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Take It Or Leave It

from Scott Burnside of ESPN,

GM Don Waddell has been asked by the Atlanta Thrashers to give up his duties and accept another management position, ESPN.com has learned.

Waddell, one of the managers of the U.S. entry in the World Championships, will apparently make his decision after the tournament, a source close to the team said Friday….

The assumption, the source told ESPN.com, is that if Waddell declines to take the as-yet-unidentified management position, he will leave the organization.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell Will Keep His Job

From Craig Custance at the AJC,

“We have a very, very busy few months coming up,” Levenson told the AJC. “I believe we’re closer than a lot of people may think or give us credit for. Less than a month ago we were in the playoffs, it’s easy to see our team and see where we need to improve. We have the assets and cap room to make those improvements.”

And Waddell is the right man to make those improvements?

“Don has built an organization of 17 top-notch hockey people, those people will be involved in this. [Keeping Waddell] might not be the popular thing to do in some circles but I think it would be foolish and short-sighted to tear down this organization at this juncture.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+spirit, bruce+levenson, don+waddell

Four NHL GMs in Press Conference Today

Today, the NHL hosted a press teleconference call featuring four general managers of the NHL.  They can be heard on the audio player below, or downloaded here. Please have patience with loading or downloading, as it’s a very large mp3 file.

Each Q&A session is roughly 15 minutes each, and are featured in this order:

  • Ken Holland—Detroit Red Wings
  • Paul Holmgren—Philadelphia Flyers
  • Don Waddell—Atlanta Thrashers
  • Brian Burke—Anaheim Ducks

 


Kukla’s Korner.com

note1: the Burke audio is extremely low due to technical issues.
note2: a printed transcript will be added below as soon as it’s available


Update 2:59pm ET: At the Globe & Mail, Eric Duhatschek provides some analysis of the commentary in this press conference.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, NHL Media, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke, don+waddell, ken+holland, media, paul+holmgren, press+conference

Rental Costs Are High

from Thrashers Blog,

Your Thrashers GM did say that the prices for rental players is sky high right now, one of the reasons you aren’t seeing many trades. It’s also why he thinks we’ll see more trades like the one between Carolina and Ottawa where both teams try to address their weaknesses. But as for trading UFA’s, Waddell said this: “If I’m a team that’s trading a UFA, where last year you’re happy getting a first and third round pick, now you’re saying that’s not good enough.”

more on Atlanta…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

Hossa To Montreal Shot Down, Again

from Thrashers Blog,

The Marian Hossa rumors to Montreal refuse to die. Maybe this will help kill them. This morning, Don Waddell addressed the rumors that started when he attended Sunday’s game in Montreal, and, well, I’ll let Waddell do the talking:

“The glass broke in Montreal on Sunday afternoon. We [Waddell and Montreal GM Bob Gainey] both happened to walk in back for a cup of coffee at the same time and Marian Hossa’s name never came up in the discussion. We were talking about his team looking so good… That was the extent of it.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: don+waddell

The Thrashers Up-Swing

from Craig Custance at the Sporting News,

Talk to everyone involved with the team and you’ll get different ideas about the season’s turning point. A wild comeback that fell just short in Ottawa. A gutsy win over the Blackhawks in Chicago. A thrilling shootout win in Montreal. With each of those efforts, each team dinner on the road and every minute of grinding travel from one stop to the next, a bond formed where chemistry had once been a huge issue.

“That’s how your hockey club grows together,” Waddell says. “They can practice all they want, but after practice everyone has their own lives, their own families. On the road you become a hockey club.”

more

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  Tags: don+waddell

Waddell Takes Advantage Of Thrashers Skill

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Holik said Hartley also wanted the Thrashers to play that crash-and-bang style and the early results were even worse than the Leafs’.

“That takes a lot out of you,” he said. “Our team didn’t have [the size]. We don’t have the biggest team, but we’re a skating team, so the biggest thing for us is puck control.”

Now, instead of asking talents such as Ilya Kovalchuk to dump the puck into the offensive zone and try to get it back, the Thrashers carry the puck a lot more. Waddell also allows Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa and the other forwards to freelance more on offence.

more on the Thrashers…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, bob+hartley, don+waddell

Thrashers Upbeat Regarding Hossa Contract

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Don Waddell confirmed that he had a meeting with Marian Hossa’s agent Ritch Winter this week and that talks of a contract extension for the All-Star forward are progressing. Hossa is scheduled to become the NHL’s premier free agent this summer, but Waddell is optimistic it won’t get that far.

“It’s progressing, and as long as we continue to have the kind of talks that we had, they’re very upbeat and on target with where we’re headed, then at some point here we’ll be able to announce a deal,” Waddell said.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, don+waddell, marian+hossa, ritch+winter

Thrashers Will Search For Coach After The Season

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

Thrashers general manager Don Waddell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday morning that the Thrashers won’t be going outside the organization for a new coach this season. He spoke with the Atlanta Spirit ownership and they supported his plan to keep any replacement at coach within the organization during the season.

For now, Waddell will stay behind the bench and continue to lean on the services of assistants Brad McCrimmon and Steve Weeks. He said the search will reconvene after the season.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, coaching, don+waddell

One Statement May Keep Waddell Behind The Bench

from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

“That’s the reason why I’m here,” said Kovalchuk, speaking of Waddell. “He brought me to this country and drafted me No. 1. When he’s behind the bench, it’s a little bit special for me.”

“It goes back to the first time he was in town [for an interview before the 2001 draft],” Waddell said. “I basically kidnapped him. He had his agent with him and I had one of our PR guys, and they went to the bathroom and I said, ‘You take the agent; I’ll take Kovy.’ I’ve watched him grow up, not just as a player but as a person.”

more

Note: Earlier transcript of Kovalchuk interview here

Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, coaching, don+waddell

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