5 Pressing tasks for Don Waddell as he takes over the Columbus Blue Jackets

Don Waddell was hired as president, GM and alternate governor of the Blue Jackets this week. He has a lot get done, with only about three months to do it.
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability
2019 NHL Awards - Nominee Media Availability / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The biggest question we entered the offseason with has been answered. We now know who our GM is.

Don Waddell takes over every meaningful aspect of hockey management for the Blue Jackets. With a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a history of building competitive hockey teams, he was the clear front running candidate the moment he was made available.

Leaving one of the best teams in the NHL for one of the worst teams in the NHL, may look daunting at first. But, this team could be vastly better next season with just a little bit of tweaking.

Waddell has his work cut out for him, but it's not as bad as it may look from just a glance at last season's standings. Here are 5 things that need to be dealt with head on, as soon as he settles in.

1. The NHL Draft

Waddell's hiring on Tuesday comes one month to the day ahead of the NHL Draft. At this point, the scouting staff that worked under Jarmo Kekalainen should already have their reports mostly compiled.

The group will hold their final meetings in the days before the draft, to combine their thoughts and put together their final list. In years past, we've heard tell that they usually have 100 players on their list; typically taking whichever one is left at the top when they come to the podium.

I don't see this strategy changing too much, in spite of Waddell's hiring. The best general managers in the league typically rely heavily on their scouting staffs for this event. That's why they employ scouts to begin with.

Where things might get interesting here, is in Don's plan with the team. Does he see value in moving picks around? Does he try to make an impact trade on the draft floor, to land help for the upcoming season?

This will be the storyline to watch throughout the two days of the draft, to be held in Vegas on June 28th and 29th. Making moves at the draft, could help him decide what to do with some of the players not currently under contract here. Which leads me to task #2.