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Don Waddell
Position Defenseman
5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
185 lb (84 kg)
Teams New Haven Nighthawks (AHL)
Flint Spirits (IHL)
Toledo Goaldiggers (IHL)
Flint Generals (IHL)
Augsburger EV (Germany)
Saginaw Gears (IHL)
Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Houston Apollos (CHL
Tulsa Oilers (CHL)
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Born (1958-08-19)August 19, 1958,
Detroit, MI, USA
NHL Draft 111th overall, 1978
Los Angeles Kings
Pro Career 1980 – 1988

Donald Waddell (born August 19, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan) is the former, and last President 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 University. 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.[1] 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.

On April 14, 2010, Waddell was made President of the Thrashers, with assistant general manager Rick Dudley taking his place as GM.[2] Under Waddell, the Thrashers had a total record of 308–401–45–66, and their only playoff appearance was during the 2006–07 season when they were swept in the opening-round series by the New York Rangers 4–0.

Following True North's purchase of the Thrashers, Waddell announced he would not be moving with the team from Atlanta to Winnipeg.


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

See also[]


  1. Bob McKenzie (2007-10-17). Thrashers fire head coach Hartley. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
  2. [1]

External links[]

Atlanta Thrashers Head Coaches
Fraser • Waddell • Hartley • Waddell • Anderson  • Ramsay

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