After a full decade in the organization, Don Waddell is no longer the general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. The 65-year-old stepped down on Friday, the team announced.

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported less than 24 hours ago that Waddell could look for a different opportunity, and that the front office could be bracing for his eventual departure. That's exactly what has happened, with Waddell moving on to his next opportunity.

“This morning, I spoke with [general manager] Tom [Fitzgerald] and informed him that I have come to the decision that now is the time for me to move to the next chapter of my career,” Waddell explained, per the official release.

“I have loved my experiences in the Triangle over the past 10 years, and together with a strong team, on and off the ice, we have accomplished many great victories. I am grateful for the support I have received from so many loyal Caniacs. This organization is in strong, capable hands and well-positioned for the future.”

Waddell has been the architect of a consistently strong Hurricanes roster that has been considered a Stanley Cup contender for the better part of the 2020s. But the team was unable to get over the hump under his leadership, advancing to two Eastern Conference Finals but being swept both times.

Eric Tulsky will take over as interim general manager, confirmed owner Tom Dundon, with the search for a new GM to begin immediately.

“As mentioned last night, Waddell’s contract is expiring and he’s made the decision to move on after 10 years in Carolina,” reported LeBrun on Friday. “We’ll see what transpires in Columbus where there’s other candidates in play as well. But my sense is Waddell is at peace either way that it was time to move on.”

Don Waddell succeeded but fell short of ultimate goal with Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes general manger Don Waddell talks to the press between the 1st and 2nd period against the Anaheim Ducks at PNC Arena.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Waddell created a terrific Hurricanes team over his nearly 10 years at the helm, including drafting Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov, and building out one of the league's deepest rosters at all three positions.

He joined the organization in July of 2014, overseeing “team business operations” for nearly a decade. He was previously the general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers from 1998-2010, as well as assistant GM with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997-98. The franchise won the Stanley Cup that season.

The Michigan native has already interviewed with the Columbus Blue Jackets for their vacant GM role, and it looks like that could be the next stop for the longtime executive.

In Raleigh, the work will continue to bring a championship to North Carolina for the first time in two decades. Dundon confirmed in the release that “a full search has begun for a permanent general manager.”

Tulsky, who will step into the role in an interim basis, has already spent a decade within the organization after joining as a consultant in 2014. He was promoted to assistant general manager in 2020, and now will have an opportunity to help shape the future of the franchise before a permanent GM is named.