Thrashers Do Right…Bring In Dudley

TSN is confirming the rumors that Rick Dudley has left the Chicago Blackhawk organization to join the Atlanta Thrashers.”Rick has informed me that he has resigned from his position with the Blackhawks to pursue other opportunities,” said Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon in a statement. ”I would like to extend my gratitude to him for his work with our organization and certainly wish him well in the future.”

The TNS story cites Dudley as becoming an assistant GM with the team…Craig Custance has indicated that his title could be associate GM.

Rick Dudley played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets as well as the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA.

He was the head coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1989-92. He’s also spent time behind the bench in Florida and has an overall record of 98-89-43 as a coach…he went 4-8 in the playoffs while with the Sabres.

He was the general manager for the Ottawa Senators during the 1998-99 season. The Sens won the Northeast Division that year with 103 points, scored 239 goals and let up just 179. However, they were swept in the opening round of the playoffs by the Buffalo Sabres who went on to win the Eastern Conference Championship.

Dudley was senior vice president and general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2-1/2 years as they built a Stanley Cup championship team earlier in this decade.

He was hired as a consultant by the Blackhawks in 2004 and was then hired as assistant GM there in 2006.

Rick Dudley was born on January 31, 1949 in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Port Hope, Ontario. He is married to Ja-Hee.

OK…so I’ll let the speculation begin as to whether or not this means the Thrashers are going to “Rich McKay” Don Waddell in the near future…in essence, handing over the general manager’s duty to Dudley while performing the Executive Vice President’s role full time.

Either way, I see this as very positive news. Even…do we dare say…movement in the right direction.

134 comments Add your comment

R. Stroz

June 18th, 2009
10:02 pm

The tide may have turned…FINALLY!

LAC

June 18th, 2009
10:17 pm

Good Lord,could THIS FINALLY be the end of waddell ?

This franchise has been so STALE so Long it’s awful…

I hope thisis the case,ANYONE is better than waddell…

Has ags awakened to the fact waddell IS the biggest problem this franchise has, followed CLOSE by asg !!!!!

Mark

June 18th, 2009
10:46 pm

I know this is a move that is extremely rare for the ASG group. Maybe someone’s finally getting sense that 10 years was a bit much for one man with very little success to show for it. I wouldn’t mind the Thrashers do a McKay on Waddell.
On a side note, I see the folks at the NHL home office obiviously didn’t think enough of Mr. Bogosian’s rookie stint this last season to at least put him on the All Rookie team this year. Ah well…we should be used to snubs by now, but doesn’t mean we have to take it or like it.

Brendan

June 18th, 2009
10:53 pm

Overall, I like this move. It shows me that the EKG exam detected brainwaves, as opposed to brain death. Yay! The synapses are firing!

On the previous blog, I listed Dudleys “hits and misses” while in Florida. But I was delinquent in pointing out that he did good things in Tampa, too. I think the TSN article mentions some of the key components he acquired for the Lightning in their march to the Cup in 2004.

Keep it going, Thrashers! It’s not the greatest of all possible moves. But, how likely was that, anyway? Waddell found someone “willing” to come here. That’s “friendship” for ya.

2-fister

June 18th, 2009
11:11 pm

All I want for Christmas is my Ice Birds playing .500 hockey!

Please “promote” Teflon Donny IMMEDIATELY!!!

LAC

June 18th, 2009
11:20 pm

RAWHIDE scoops ajc…. Great Job !

Brendan

June 18th, 2009
11:26 pm

Ya know, when Waddell is finally gone, it might take a full YEAR for the shock to wear off. Another thought occurs to me. Supposing, for the moment, that Dudley actually becomes the GM, is he Anne Sullivan? Is he “The Miracle Worker?” He’s gonna have to be, you do realize. Right? Same Octocluster for ownership. Same budget. And does Dudley have any players who are so FIERCELY LOYAL TO HIM, that he can coax them here? Deep, in the Heart of Blueland.

kracker

June 18th, 2009
11:35 pm

Looks like DW in charge thru the draft, FA and re-signing period, then he moves ‘up’ to the VP slot. Make your last moves good ones, Donnie.

pond scum

June 19th, 2009
12:57 am

Let’s hope and pray for that kracker to happen. My only worry is that if/when Dudley does take over,is he going to tear down the team yet again to his liking?

Brendan-up until this past season, the Preds had made the postseason 4 years running on a very limited budget. They gave the Wings all they could handle 2 out of those 4 times,so it can be done. I also think the Wild,Blues,Islanders have accomplished this recently,with the low budgets. But outside the Isles,the other teams have pretty decent GMs to guide them.

Maybe it’s our turn for that.

scottbravesfan

June 19th, 2009
4:28 am

Christmas in June! Please let this be the end to the Teflon Don!!!!!

World Be Free

June 19th, 2009
6:06 am

Dus is a great character guy with a fine reputation in the NHL. He built his rep over 35 years as a player, lower minor league manager, coach and bus driver.

Then he was redicovered as an NHL coach and executive. A good guy who will do well.

The Real Fan

June 19th, 2009
6:30 am

‘Bout time!

Smitty

June 19th, 2009
6:34 am

Some much needed help.

NorthStarsDave

June 19th, 2009
6:49 am

This might be a hire by…dare we say…the new owners…which Waddell might be part of….

If there are not new owners, the Thrashers would already be in Hamilton….

dwayne

June 19th, 2009
7:02 am

HALELUJAH!!!!!!!

Alan

June 19th, 2009
7:16 am

Dave, Waddell hired Dudley. And there aren’t any new owners. Yet.

Toby

June 19th, 2009
7:17 am

Hopefully, Dudley can work wonders at the cap floor…

dwayne

June 19th, 2009
7:34 am

this feels good for us fans, think about how good some of the players must feel….

Midfield

June 19th, 2009
7:37 am

Brendan, why would Waddell like for anybody to come in and take away his responsibilities? Isn’t this viewed by everyone here as a step toward the exit door for him? Or it’s just a wishful thinking?

Toby

June 19th, 2009
8:10 am

Midfield

My guess is that this move was made to make season ticket holders happy. I believe that Dub (finally) got instructed to find an assistant for some help to appease all the “fire Waddell” folks like you and me.

I just hope the both of them can get on the same page since it’s only a week before the draft and free agency…

dwayne

June 19th, 2009
8:13 am

DW still needs to be fired….If Atl. continues to suck, DW is gonna blame RD.

Jenn

June 19th, 2009
8:21 am

Did Christmas come early? Thank the hockey gods…

Smitty

June 19th, 2009
8:25 am

One of my best memories of Rick Dudley was when he beat the hell out of Bob Kelly of the Flyers during the 1975 playoff finals. One of my worst memories was when he left the Sabres for Cincinnatti of the WHA the following season.

He was a tough hockey and lacrosse player. Hopefully he will help bring in some of the type of player that he was.

Brendan

June 19th, 2009
8:34 am

Midfield, my guess is this. Dudley and Waddell are pals, from way back. He phones up Dudley to say … “We’re reshuffling a bit here, in Atlanta, and we may need a GM. Want the job?” Dudley, scratches his head, and says, “Don, you’re the GM.” Don answers, “Not if the ticket sales don’t pick up. Are you willing to come? When I step down, the job will be yours.” Dudley says, “For real?” Don nods. Don still has a job, as the new “Rich McKay” of the Octocluster. Is Dudley guaranteed/promised a full-time GM gig in Chicago? Is Dale Tallon (Blackhawks GM) stepping down, anytime soon? Allrightee then. So, Waddell successfully passes a position to a friend. Some call that, “cronyism.” I call it, “The effect of the Waddell tentacles, still controlling this organization.”

When Dudley wants to pull a deal, doesn’t he still have to ask, “Mother, may I?” to Don Waddell? If the answer is, “no,” that’s a bit more encouraging. But still doesn’t fix the budget. Worse yet, if Dudley becomes GM, and resigns in disgust, or is fired by Waddell, guess who could be BAAAAAACK? Answer: Don Waddell, the NEW “interim” GM. For 76 games. Hypothetically. D’oh!! And guess who’ll HIRE the next GM AFTER Dudley?? Oh, c’mon now. You all know the answer. This is why … the correct thing to do … if the organization truly wants to make a change … is to fire Waddell and REMOVE HIM COMPLETELY from anything involving the Thrashers. Even oversight of the budget. ‘Cuz I promise you, even if Dudley is the GM, Waddell will be sitting at that table, on Draft Day, still POSSESSING INFLUENCE. That’s not the “meaningful changes” to which poster Bob always refers.

Brendan

June 19th, 2009
8:36 am

pond scum, I hope you’re right. GM’s like David Poile and Doug Wilson have shown what can be done, on a shoestring budget.

dwayne

June 19th, 2009
8:46 am

Brendan, it wasn’t a phone call, they were at Tattletales with Levenson……..

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
8:52 am

Brendan… Mother May I?… absolutely. But there has to be SOME level of trust in Dudley’s decisions. As long as it makes budgetary sense, I don’t see why Waddell wouldn’t approve anything… otherwise, what would be the point of having Dudley?

I love all the conspiracy theories going on… it’s simple. ASG likes Waddell’s ability to balance a budget. He’ll be PROMOTED to President of Hockey Operations. Much like John Davidson in St. Louis. Dudley will eventually be GM. Don Waddell is hiring him because he’s a trusted friend.

Waddell isn’t going anywhere besides a bigger office with a view… the good news, for most of you, is he’s handing over the reigns… be it someone he trusts and probably shares similar views on how to manage a hockey team.

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
8:54 am

GM’s like David Poile and Doug Wilson have shown what can be done, on a shoestring budget.

Like trading all your best players to Philly? Putting Peverley on waivers while retaining Radek Bonk? :)

Sean

June 19th, 2009
9:15 am

I hope this doesn’t mean the end of DW. Nothing says “ownership doesn’t get it” like DW being able to hand-pick his successor. We could do better if and when DW moves on.

J

June 19th, 2009
9:43 am

Waddell is not handing over any thing reigns or power. RD is here as another scape goat remeber the Thrashers are built for one purpose and that is to keep Don Waddell employed. But RD brings another opion to the table for as long as he lasts and that can not be a bad thing.

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
9:51 am

Rawhide… I must be waking up now, I just got the joke in your article title… Dudley Do Right… good one. :)

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
9:55 am

RD is here as another scape goat remeber the Thrashers are built for one purpose and that is to keep Don Waddell employed.

Yeah, that makes sense. (sarcasm)

I’m sure Rick Dudley left a winning organization in Chicago to be a “scapegoat” in Atlanta.

Billsen

June 19th, 2009
9:57 am

I could also see Don moving up to take Bernie Mullin’s old spot. The guy has fallen on the sword too many times for him to be tossed under the bus. And I think it would be VERY good to have a hockey guy in Bernie’s old role – Bernie was a hoops guy.

Spud Webb

June 19th, 2009
9:59 am

PR move, but who CARES. If Dudley falls flat on his face I don’t CARE. I am SO freaking happy that we (The Thrashers) are at least TRYING TO DO SOMETHING positive. WOW, we are “attempting” new ideas & looking to possibly fix some things????????????? hahahaha, THANK YOU ASG MORONS!!!!! Jeager at 10am??????????? WHY NOT, time to celebrate!!!!!!
Good luck Dudley!!!! DW now you can accept your promotion, ahahhaaah, it’s so well deserved, let Dudley do the “GM” thing. man o man it’s a great friday.

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
10:01 am

And I think it would be VERY good to have a hockey guy in Bernie’s old role – Bernie was a hoops guy.

I thought Bernie was a soccer guy… or better yet, a tea and crumpets guy.

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
10:05 am

I hope we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, ala Ken Griffey Jr… this isn’t on the Thrashers official site yet. As we all know, it’s not official until it shows up there.

Hopefully Dudley isn’t pulling a “Nikulin” on us to get more money from Florida.

10 yr plan

June 19th, 2009
10:12 am

Rawhide, great work as always. Brendan, you’re dead on. Waddell and Dudley have been friends for years. Dudley will become a puppet for Waddell even if he eventually becomes GM. Unfortunately, this move is not even close to what the Falcons did last year. Let’s hope the draft goes well.

Bob

June 19th, 2009
10:25 am

“Isn’t this viewed by everyone here as a step toward the exit door for him? Or it’s just a wishful thinking?’

Wishful thinking. Dudley is good friends with Waddell. I recall that when Dudley was run out of Tampa Bay (yes, he was run out of there for trying to trade Vinny for prospects), Waddell spoke up for him in the press and wished his good friend well. Didn’t we try to bring him in here at that time but he took another job?

This is not like what the Falcons did, and I think Hokie may have the bead on this, Waddell is eventually being moved upstairs and Dudley is his boy he brought in to hand reins to, I’m not too excited about this, it means Waddell remains in charge and he brought in his lackey so he can continue to pull the strings.

We need a completely fresh start, not more of the Waddell era.

Billsen

June 19th, 2009
10:35 am

GaVaHokie – he was an NBA guy:

* SVP Marketing and Team Business Operations for the National Basketball Association (2000-2004)

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
11:07 am

Thanks Billsen!

This is getting strange that we haven’t seen anything more official yet… are we waiting on a noon press conference or something? I’m so glad the AJC cut back on it’s staff. :(

Rawhide

June 19th, 2009
11:17 am

Looks like Dudley was interested in the Florida job after all…but told Brian Biggane, (writer for the Panthers I believe), that he “already had something else lined up”.

ranallo10 (in AT)

June 19th, 2009
11:49 am

Is it possible that “Rick Dudley” is code for “Steve Yzerman”? Please?

Alan

June 19th, 2009
11:50 am

I second your motion, ranallo!

World Be Free

June 19th, 2009
12:09 pm

Smitty-you and I have the same memories. My other Duds memory was was when he scored his 30th goal in the 74 season. He was the last of 6 sabres to score 30 goals that year. The Aud never rocked so loud.

Ogie Ogelthorpe

June 19th, 2009
12:12 pm

Have the Thrashers confirmed this hiring yet?

Rawhide

June 19th, 2009
12:21 pm

Ogie – There is no official word from the Thrashers organization as of yet.

I understand that the Florida Panthers are preparing a news conference in about an hour or so…are they getting ready to announce their new GM?

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
12:28 pm

Eklund is saying the Panthers might have hired Neil Smith… interesting.

I’m ready for all this to be resolved and official.

Alan

June 19th, 2009
12:29 pm

From what I’ve heard, Rawhide, this big news deal from the Panthers is a player signing.

They also just completed a trade with the Coyotes, sending Stefan Meyer to the desert in exchange for Steven Reinprecht. Florida just signed Reinprecht to a three year contract.

GaVaHokie

June 19th, 2009
12:31 pm

Maybe this is the big Panthers news… Steve Reinprecht trade from PHO.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=282319

Alan

June 19th, 2009
12:34 pm

The Islanders also now have a new assistant coach:

Dean Chynoweth just completed a press conference where he resigned as Head Coach and General Manager of the Swift Current Broncos to assume an assistant coaching position with the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders.