Former Hurricanes GM Don Waddell linked to new team.
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Former Hurricanes GM Don Waddell linked to new team.

The real reason Don Waddell left the Hurricanes after a decade with the organization has been revealed.

Jonathan Larivee

There was some surprising news in the National Hockey League when long time Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell announced that he would be stepping down from his role in the Hurricanes GM chair, a role he had previously occupied for the better part of a decade.

The news caught many off guard which makes sense when you consider that the Hurricanes are heading into one of their most important offseasons in recent history with a huge number of players on expiring contracts. The list of pending free agents this summer includes the likes of Jake Guentzel, Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei, Jordan Martinook, Tony DeAngelo, Teuvo Teravainen, Antti Raanta, Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas and many more.

That served to make the timing of Waddell stepping down appear to be very odd to be sure but we now have a clearer picture of why the long-tenured Hurricanes general manager chose this time to look towards the future.

A new report from NHL insider Pierre LeBrun has revealed that Waddell is likely slated to become the next top executive in the hockey operations department for the Columbus Blue Jackets. That sounds like Waddell will function as a president of hockey operations, perhaps with a general manager working underneath him, a position he had previously worked in alongside former NHLer Ron Francis when the two worked as a president/general manager tandem under the previous ownership regime of the Carolina Hurricanes.

This does appear to reflect poorly on Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon who seems to have a contentious time keeping employees that most seem to feel are critical to the organization's success. The uncertainty around contract status of head coach Rod Brind'Amour over the last several years has been a recurring theme, and now we have the team's successful general manager leaving the team of his own accord.