General manager Don Waddell is sticking with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Owner Tom Dundon announced on Monday that the team has signed Waddell to a three-year extension. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“Don’s leadership and experience are invaluable to our organization and I’m happy we were able to reach an extension,” Dundon said in a press release issued on Monday. “Don and I have a great relationship and he is someone I trust. I’m excited to continue to build a championship team with Don.”
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With training camp a little over a month away, Waddell expected to work something out with Dundon, even if those negotiations carried over into the start of the regular season.
“I didn’t want to leave here. It got blown out of proportion,” Waddell said via conference call, adding, “at the end of the day, I’m right where I belong.”
The 60-year-old had previously worked as the assistant GM for the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings and went on to serve as general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2010. After joining the Hurricanes’ parent company as president in 2014, he was named Carolina’s interim GM midway through the 2017-18 campaign and was promoted to the full-time role in May.
In 2018-19, he helped lead the Hurricanes to their first playoff berth in 10 years and saw Carolina reach the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2009. His success earned him a nomination for GM of the Year.
As the offseason went on, Waddell interviewed for the vacant GM position with the Minnesota Wild after they fired Paul Fenton. Dundon allowed it.
“Tom and I talked about a job opening up. We talked about exploring it and Tom was OK with that, so I felt at that point I should probably do it,” Waddell said.
Dundon explained that the plan was to keep Waddell on board, but he wasn’t going to hold Waddell back from exploring other opportunities.
“For me, I told Don he had the job if he wanted it… I thought it would take something extremely compelling for him to leave, but if there was something much better in this world, I’d be rooting for him,” Dundon said via conference call.
Waddell will look to continue building the Hurricanes’ young core as they look to climb even higher in the standings and again make a deep playoff run.
Dundon believes Waddell can do just that.
“He’s going to be here a long time and he’s an important part of what we’re doing, and I’m glad this makes everybody feel better,” Dundon said.
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