Don Waddell Named General Manager Of 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey announced today that Don Waddell (Duluth, Ga.) will serve as general manager of the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone with Don’s abilities and credentials as the general manager of our men’s Olympic team,” said Ron DeGregorio ( Salem, N.H.), president of USA Hockey. “He’s been a leader in the development of hockey in the United States and we know he’ll do everything he can to build a team that we will all be proud of.”

In addition to Waddell, USA Hockey announced that Paul Holmgren ( St. Paul, Minn.) will serve as assistant general manager of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team and Jim Johannson ( Colorado Springs, Colo.) will be the club’s director of hockey operations.

“It’s a privilege to continue my association with USA Hockey and represent my country,” said Waddell. “The Olympics are the pinnacle of international competition and hold a special place in the history of hockey in the United States. I look forward to working together with Paul and Jim to construct another competitive and successful team.”


Waddell is currently the executive vice president and general manager of the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers and also a member of the NHL’s Competition Committee.

Named among the most powerful and influential people in hockey by The Hockey News, Waddell has had a long-standing relationship with USA Hockey. His most recent assignment came as the general manager for the 2005 U.S. Men’s National Team that competed in the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship. He was the assistant general manager for the World Cup of Hockey 2004 team and held the same position for the 2004 U.S. Men’s National Team that captured the bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, a feat that qualified the U.S. for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Waddell also served as general manager for both the 2001 and 2002 United States Men’s National Teams. In 2001, the United States finished in fourth place with a 4-4-1 record at the IIHF World Championship in Germany, which at the time was the best result for an American team since winning the bronze medal in 1996. Then in 2002, Team USA went 3-3-1 at the IIHF World Championship in Sweden to finish seventh.

Waddell also served as assistant general manager of the 1999 U.S. National Team that competed in the IIHF World Championship in Norway.

His international playing experience includes helping lead the 1983 U.S. National Team to the IIHF Pool B World Championship in Tokyo, Japan. Waddell was a member of the first-ever U.S. National Junior Team in 1977 at the IIHF World Junior Championship and returned with the 1978 U.S. National Junior Team.

On June 23, 1998, Waddell was named the first-ever vice president and general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, an NHL expansion franchise at the time that began play in 1999-2000. Prior to joining Atlanta, Waddell served as assistant general manager for the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98. His extensive organizational experience includes guiding two other professional hockey franchises, the San Diego Gulls and the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League.

Prior to his tenure with the Detroit Red Wings, Waddell was vice president of RDV Sports where he served on the executive committee that oversaw operations of the National Basketball Association’s Orlando Magic, the IHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, the Magic Fanattics retail entity and Magic Carpet Aviation.

While at RDV Sports, Waddell was vice president and general manager of the Orlando Solar Bears from 1995-97. He held the same roles with the IHL’s San Diego Gulls from 1990-95. He also served as the team’s head coach in 1991-92, taking the Gulls to their first-ever playoff berth. He spent two seasons with the IHL’s Flint Spirits, where he served as head coach/general manager in 1988-89 and general manager in 1989-90.

Waddell was drafted by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings in 1978. He spent three years with the Kings’ organization from 1980-83. Waddell played in more than eight seasons of professional hockey, primarily in the IHL, finishing with 372 points (95-277) in 404 career games. His best output came in 1981-82, when he tallied 95 points (26-69) for the Saginaw Gears, and earned the Governor’s Trophy as the IHL’s top defenseman. Waddell was named an IHL First Team All-Star in 1982 and 1986, and a Second Team All-Star in 1988.

Waddell played Division I hockey at Northern Michigan University from 1976-80, where he majored in business management. He was inducted into the Northern Michigan University Sports Hall of Fame in 1992 and was named to the 1970s Central Collegiate Hockey Association All-Decade Team. He finished with 172 points (52 goals, 120 assists) in 120 career games at Northern Michigan.

Don, his wife, Cheryl, and their daughter, Chelsea, reside in Duluth, Georgia.

NOTES: The management staff of the 2006 Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey team was selected by Ron DeGregorio; Tony Rossi (Chicago, Ill.), USA Hockey’s vice president and international council chair and Art Berglund (Colorado Springs, Colo.), consultant to USA Hockey’s international department ... USA Hockey expects to make another significant announcement in regard to the 2006 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team later this week.

Your No. 1 Source for Southern Hockey