Don Waddell has been around the NHL long enough to hear the alarm bells ringing before he even arrived in town. The man who oversaw the sale and move of a struggling Sun Belt franchise to Canada is joining the Carolina Hurricanes?

“That was the first thing I had to address with the staff,” Waddell acknowledged this week over breakfast, one of dozens of get-acquainted meals he has brokered since taking over as team president last month.

His message: Waddell is here to grow the franchise, not move it.

Waddell is best known as the longtime general manager of the Atlanta Thrashers, a job he held for 12 years, but he has considerable experience on the business side of things as well.

He at one point oversaw the Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena, before the hockey team moved to Winnipeg, ran minor-league franchises in San Diego and Orlando and served as a consultant for ownership groups interested in putting an NHL team in Seattle.

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos originally said he would handle the team’s business operations himself in the wake of Jim Rutherford’s departure as president and general manager, but two months later hired Waddell, an acquaintance from the NHL’s Board of Governors who knew his days as a general manager were over and was looking to stay in the game.