Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon told NHL.com on Wednesday that he expects general manager Don Waddell to remain with the organization despite outside interest from the Minnesota Wild.
"Yeah, I expect Don to be the GM of the team for a while," Dundon said. "To me, he's employed by the Carolina Hurricanes. He's employed and he's not going anywhere as far as I'm concerned. So the whole contract thing, I don't understand it.…I have found this weird since I got into the hockey business that the business people all have contracts. I never had contracts with the people that worked for me. It was just, 'If you do a good job (and) I like you, you'll work here, and I'll treat you fair.'"
Waddell's contract with the Hurricanes expired on June 30 and has not been officially renewed, though Dundon said Tuesday the GM, "in essence has a contract."
According to The Athletic, Waddell had an in-person interview with Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold and president Matt Majka regarding their vacant GM position on Monday.
Dundon said earlier this week that he would not stand in Waddell's way if another team offered him a higher salary.
“Even if he had a contract I would let him interview, so what’s the difference?” Dundon told Luke DeCock of The News & Observer. “It’s not going to stop somebody from doing whatever’s better for them. If they’re going to pay somebody more money, I’m not going to stop them. I told him he’s got to do what’s best for him.”
Dundon, who took over as majority owner of the Hurricanes in 2018 and named Waddell as team president and GM later in the year, reiterated that again on Wednesday.
"I've told Don I'm not going to walk in and fire Don Waddell, so he doesn't need a contract," he said. "If he wants one, he can have one if he asks for one. But we're trying to avoid having a bunch of contracts, so if he has a big contract it's kind of hard for us to run the team and run the business. … Don and I get along great, everybody is happy. So if he were to leave, that would most likely be over money.
"And I'm comfortable that I'm willing to pay a fair amount of money, but there's always somebody that will pay more, not just in hockey but in every business."