Thrashers GM receives new contract

April 29, 2004 at 8:13 PM

ATLANTA, April 29 (UPI) -- Don Waddell, the only general manager the Atlanta Thrashers have ever had, received a multi-year contract extension Thursday.

The announcement by team president and CEO Bernie Mullin came 3 1/2 weeks after Atlanta completed a turbulent season by setting team records for wins (33) and points (78).

"Don has done a tremendous job of building this team and assembling what is arguably the most talented young roster in the NHL," Mullin said. "He is one of the most respected general managers in the league.

"We believe that his leadership and expertise will continue to help us shape our club into a perennial contender."

Since he was named general manager in June 1998, Waddell has drafted All-Stars Dany Heatley and Ilya Kovalchuk along with Kari Lehtonen, one of the world's top goaltending prospects.

Last September, Heatley was involved in a car accident in which teammate Dan Snyder was killed. Despite the tragedy, Atlanta threatened for the first playoff berth in team history, eventually finishing second in the Southeast Division with a 33-37-8-4 record.

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