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Donald Waddell (born August 19, 1958 in Detroitmarker, Michiganmarker) is the current executive vice president and general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers and a former ice hockey defenseman.

Playing career

Waddell was selected 111th overall, in the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft. He was selected as the 3rd choice of the Los Angeles Kings on June 15 1978. He played in the NHL for only one game with the Kings during the 1980–81 season.

His playing career consisted mostly of minor and college hockey. He played 4 seasons at Northern Michigan Universitymarker. He was one of the final cuts for the 1980 U.S. men's hockey team after he broke his leg in a pre-tournament game. He won the International Hockey League's Governor's Trophy in 1982 for best defenseman during the regular season.

Coaching career

After his tenure as a player, he moved to coaching. For the 1987–88 season with the IHL Flint Spirits as a player-coach. For the next two seasons, he moved behind the bench permanently. Waddell moved on to the IHL San Diego Gulls for the 1991–92 season. Waddell took over as interim coach of the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2002–03 season with a record of 4-5-1-0 as coach before Bob Hartley was named to the permanent job.

After a disappointing start (0-6-0) to the 2007–08 Atlanta Thrashers season, Waddell was named interim head coach of the team following the dismissal of Bob Hartley. For several months, he was able to lead the team on a turn around, but the Thrashers ultimately played poorly down the stretch and missed the playoffs.

Coaching record

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
G W L T OTL Pts Division Rank Result
ATL 2002–03 10 4 5 1 0 (74) 3rd in Southeast Missed Playoffs
ATL 2007–08 76 34 34 - 8 (76) 4th in Southeast Missed Playoffs
Total 86 38 39 1 8

Management career

Don Waddell was the assistant GM of the Detroit Red Wings from 1997–98. He won a Stanley Cup championship with the team in the 1998 season. In June 1998, he was named the GM of the newly founded Atlanta Thrashers. Under Waddell, the Thrashers have a total record of 273-367-45-53, making the playoffs once. Waddell is best known for drafting Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk.


  • IHL Governor's Trophy (best defenceman, voted by coaches) - 1982

See also

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