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Thrashers re-sign GM Rick Dudley

The Atlanta Thrashers have re-signed general manager Rick Dudley to a four-year contract extension, the team announced Thursday.

Dudley was originally hired by the club as an associate general manager in June 2009, but was promoted to GM last April after Don Waddell was bumped up to team president.

"Rick has a proven track record of building successful teams and is dedicated to improving the Thrashers and constructing a perennial contender," Waddell said in a statement. "He has already taken great strides with our club and is committed to infusing our roster with key players. He has truly earned this opportunity and we look forward to his continued leadership."

Dudley, who played in seven NHL seasons and four more in the WHA, coached in Buffalo from 1989 to 1992, leading the Sabres to a pair of playoff appearances. But he's known more for his work in the front office.

He served as a general manager in Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Florida and five years as a top assistant in Chicago. He assembled much of the nucleus for the Lightning team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004, and his work with the Blackhawks with some of the best young talent in the NHL helped revive a moribund franchise.

The Thrashers are still fighting for a playoff spot in the East. They are 10th in the Eastern Conference, five points
behind eighth-place Carolina.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.