Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Don Waddell
Defenseman Don Waddell was a collegiate All-Star as well as excellent minor league player who captured the Governors' Trophy as the International Hockey League's top blue liner in 1982. Waddell began his career playing for Northern Michigan University for four years, two of which he was an All-Star. After graduating in 1980, he turned professional with the Los Angeles Kings, who had drafted him in the 1978 Amateur Draft.

With the Kings organization for the 1980-81 he split his time between the IHL's Saginaw Gears and the Central League's Houston Apollos, but he also played his only NHL game that campaign. The Kings summoned Waddell for a game in which he was on the ice for one goal and did not contribute any points.

The following season he scored 26 goals and 95 points then contributed a league leading 17 assists in the playoffs en route to his first All-Star season in the IHL, as well as the Governors' Trophy. Injuries limited him in the 1982-83 season and the 1983-84 campaign was spent in Germany, but he returned to the IHL in 1984-85. The following year he was back to his All-Star level and was once again named to the First Team. 1987-88 was his final season as a player, and he went out in style scoring 17 goals and 75 points in 71 games with the Flint Generals and being named a Second Team All-Star.

With his playing days behind him, Waddell stayed close to the game and returned to Flint in 1988-89 as the team's coach and General Manager. This began a highly successful second career in hockey. Waddell was also a coach and GM with the San Diego Gulls and then the moved on to the Orlando Solar Bears where he was the Vice President and General Manager. He was twice named the IHL's Executive of the Year during his time in the league. Waddell then made the step to the National Hockey League and joined the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98, the season they won their second-straight Stanley Cup. Waddell completed his ascent when he was named the Vice President and General Manager of the expansion Atlanta Thrashers in June of 1998 and built the new club from the ground up.

REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1975-76 Detroit Little Caesars GLJHL 50 23 29 52
1976-77 Northern Michigan U. CCHA 28 11 34 45 40
1977-78 Northern Michigan U. CCHA 32 18 34 52 44
1977-78 United States WJC-A 6 5 2 7 8
1978-79 Northern Michigan U. CCHA 23 5 20 25 24
1979-80 Northern Michigan U. CCHA 37 18 32 50 30
1980-81 Los Angeles Kings NHL 1 0 0 0 0 -1
1980-81 Houston Apollos CHL 31 4 5 9 23
1980-81 Saginaw Gears IHL 40 4 18 22 33 13 2 4 6 6
1981-82 Saginaw Gears IHL 77 26 69 95 61 14 1 17 18 0
1982-83 Saginaw Gears IHL 18 3 17 20 10
1982-83 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 2 0 0 0 0
1983-84 Augsburger EV W.German 8 6 5 11 10
1984-85 Flint Generals IHL 35 3 14 17 10
1984-85 Toledo Goaldiggers IHL 42 10 31 41 12 6 0 6 6 0
1985-86 Toledo Goaldiggers IHL 63 19 50 69 113
1985-86 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 6 1 4 5 9 5 1 2 3 4
1986-87 Flint Spirits IHL 10 1 4 5 2 6 1 3 4 4
1987-88 New Haven Nighthawks AHL 2 1 2 3 0
1987-88 Flint Spirits IHL 71 17 58 75 61 15 5 10 15 6
1988-1989 Flint Spirits IHL
1989-1990 Flint Spirits IHL
1990-1995 San Diego Gulls IHL
1995-1997 Orlando Solar Bears IHL
1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings NHLMGNT
1998-2000 Atlanta Thrashers NHLMGNT
NHL Totals 1 0 0 0 0


CCHA First All-Star Team (1978, 1980)
CCHA Player of the Year (1978) (co-winner - John Markell)
IHL First All-Star Team (1982, 1986)
Governors' Trophy (Outstanding Defenseman - IHL) (1982)
IHL Second All-Star Team (1988)