The Carolina Hurricanes are the Best Story in Sports

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 3: Teammates of the Carolina Hurricanes salute the fans during pregame introductions prior to an NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens on October 3, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 3: Teammates of the Carolina Hurricanes salute the fans during pregame introductions prior to an NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens on October 3, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 19: Don Waddell, general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2019 NHL Awards at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV – JUNE 19: Don Waddell, general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2019 NHL Awards at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 19, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The New GM

Don Waddell is one of the greatest examples of perseverance and passion the NHL has to offer. The man epitomizes a true love for the game and its fans, and his success at his job always seems to stem from that love; but it is success that has followed years of mediocrity.

Waddell was never supposed to be an NHL general manager again. Every team had passed on him, they all had seen his past failures and wrote him off. He didn’t have a defining moment for which to hold his hat; but what he did have was experience and smarts.

Waddells career in Atlanta often goes unnoticed. Those Thrasher teams where never truly successful, making the playoffs once in 15 seasons. This failure, however, proved to be more about the organization as a whole, than Waddell as a GM.

Waddell wasn’t brought to Carolina for a hockey related position.  His ascension in the front office didn’t materialize from Waddell being hand-picked for that position; it happened because he was the best man for the job.

His previous failure, and even his reluctance to truly accept the position in Carolina, enhance the story of this season. Knowing that this team was, in part, built by an individual who has resurrected his career makes every act of managing wizardry that much more engrossing as spectators.

Thus far, Waddell has been masterful. He has drafted incredible talent with incredible value, he has taken some gambles on free agency that have panned out more often than not, and he’s implemented a system, alongside the coaching staff, that would breed success within the organization.

One of his greatest accomplishments since taking that general manager position, paramount to his other changes, is who he helped hired as head coach…