COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Don Waddell, who brings nearly two decades of experience in the National Hockey League in multiple capacities, has been named international consultant for USA Hockey, with particular focus on player identification and interface with the U.S. National Junior Team and USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program.
“It’s great to have someone with Don’s experience assisting us with two of our most prominent programs,” said Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of USA Hockey. “Don’s primary role will be centered around player identification, but he’ll also be engaged with our staff at the NDTP to assist in continuing to enhance our efforts in all areas.”
Waddell has been affiliated in some capacity with USA Hockey for parts of five decades. He is an original member of the volunteer U.S. Men’s National Team Advisory Group that was created in 2007 to assist USA Hockey in the selection of players and staff for U.S. Men’s National and Olympic Teams.
Waddell served as the general manager for the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team that competed at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, as well as the U.S. Men’s National Team that played in the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship.
In addition, Waddell was the assistant general manager for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey team and held the same position for the U.S. Men’s National Team that captured the bronze medal at the 2004 IIHF Men’s World Championship in the Czech Republic, a feat that qualified the United States for the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
In 2011, he was the head coach for Team USA at the Deutschland Cup in Germany. Waddell also served as general manager for both the 2001 and 2002 U.S. Men’s National Teams and he was the assistant general manager of the U.S. Men’s National Team that competed in the 1999 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
As a player, he helped the 1983 U.S. Men’s National Team to the IIHF Pool B World Championship in Tokyo, Japan, and was a member of the first two U.S. National Junior Teams (1977, 1978) that competed at the IIHF World Junior Championship.
In addition to his USA Hockey duties, Waddell will continue to serve as a pro scout for the National Hockey League’s Pittsburgh Penguins for the third straight season.
Waddell spent 13 years with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers, serving as the only general manager in club history from 1998-2011. He also took on president duties for the team during the 2010-11 season. On two occasions he took over as interim head coach of the Thrashers.
Prior to joining Atlanta, Waddell, a Detroit native, served as assistant general manager for the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98.