Skip to content

Blue Jackets hire Waddell as GM, president of hockey ops

Jaylynn Nash / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Don Waddell as general manager, president of hockey operations, and alternate governor, the team announced Tuesday.

Reports on Saturday indicated Waddell would join the Blue Jackets as the team's top hockey operations executive.

Waddell resigned from his post as president and GM of the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

The Blue Jackets fired GM Jarmo Kekalainen in February. President of hockey operations John Davidson served as interim GM in the meantime.

Davidson will now transition to a senior adviser and alternate governor role.

"I've known Don for many years, and he is one of the great gentlemen in our business," Davidson said. "He is a very smart, dedicated professional who has shown a great ability to bring people together to work towards a common goal and achieve success. I believe this is a great day for our organization and our fans."

The Blue Jackets have missed the playoffs in four straight years and have only qualified for the postseason six times in their 23 seasons. They've never advanced past Round 2.

During Waddell's six years as GM of the Hurricanes, the team made the playoffs every season, won three straight division titles from 2021-23, and made the conference finals in 2019 and 2023.

However, Waddell didn't find quite the same level of success in his previous GM gig. He held that position with the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2010, overseeing a single postseason appearance in 2007 when the club was swept in Round 1.

Waddell will join a franchise that boasts a talented young core led by 2023 No. 3 pick Adam Fantilli. The Blue Jackets hold the No. 4 pick in the 2024 draft.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox