The Carolina Hurricanes quashed another mini-scandal today, as the team announced that President and General Manager Don Waddell had agreed to a long-term, multi-year extension to stay in Raleigh. The deal keeps Waddell with the Hurricanes for three more years.
Waddell’s contract situation drew media attention earlier this week when he met with representatives of the Minnesota Wild about their GM vacancy. This caused a bit of an uproar among some who follow the team, using the situation as an example of the way Dundon runs the team is cause for concern.
The situation had admittedly been building all summer, as while the Canes put together a stellar offseason, the cloud of the GM not being under contract loomed. The cloud got darker this month as NHL rules state that all teams must have a GM under contract by the first of September.
This was the second time that Dundon’s way of running his team has courted controversy this summer. His response to this situation mirrored his reaction to the Sebastian Aho offer sheet situation – calm, confident, assurance coupled with quick action. Never once did anyone within the organization appear to doubt that either situation would end any other way.
The reactions to these tests have given a lot of hope to a fanbase that has seen ownership apathy for years prior. Through it all, the communication with the fanbase has been clear and honest. If Dundon’s way of running the team is filled with decisive action and open communication with the fans, then that is something we should all support.
With Waddell locked up, there is only one more item left on the offseason check-list for the Hurricanes, a final decision from Justin Williams on his future. Whether he comes back or not, a decision from him would go a long way to clarifying things for the Canes as the preseason begins next month.