Karmanos names Waddell president of Gale Force Sports

Posted by Chip Alexander on July 1, 2014 

Peter Karmanos Jr., owner and chief executive officer of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, announced Tuesday the team has hired Don Waddell as President of Gale Force Sports & Entertainment.

"Don is a very experienced and well-respected hockey executive," Karmanos said. "He will bring a fresh approach to the business side of the Carolina Hurricanes.

"We are going to work together on the business side. I think the best way to grow a business is not by cutting expenses but by growing reveue. Don will work on process and the organization itself and we'll try to move the Hurricanes forward from the business side."

Jim Rutherford served as president and general manager of the franchise for 20 years but stepped down as GM in April, then was named general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Waddell, 55, spent the last three seasons as a professional scout with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to joining the Penguins in January 2012, Waddell was general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from the team's founding in 1998 until 2010, when he took the role of team president.

Waddell also served as executive vice president and co-chair of the executive committee of the Atlanta Spirit, the parent company of the Thrashers, the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena. He won the Stanley Cup as assistant general manager of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.

Prior to becoming an NHL executive, Waddell helped build and guide two International Hockey League (IHL) franchises in San Diego (1990-95) and Orlando (1995-97) as those clubs' executive vice president and general manager. While in Orlando, he was vice president of RDV Sports and served on the executive committee that oversaw the NBA's Orlando Magic, the IHL's Orlando Solar Bears and the company's retail and aviation interests. Waddell was twice named IHL executive of the year (1992-93 and 1995-96).

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