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Dudley Named Assistant GM

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that Rick Dudley has been named Assistant General Manager.

"Rick has a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge," said Tallon. "He's been a valuable asset to our organization. Rick's been successful at every aspect of the game of hockey and I trust and respect his input."

"I've enjoyed working with Dale Tallon and [director of hockey operations] Stan Bowman and the direction this team is going," said new Chicago Blackhawk Assistant General Manager Rick Dudley. "Our club is headed in the right direction with the promising youth we have in the organization and the commitment to building a Cup winner. I'm excited to be a part of what's going on here in Chicago."

Dudley joined the Blackhawks in December of 2004 as Hockey Operations Consultant and was elevated to Director of Player Personnel prior to the 2005-06 season. He has worked closely with Senior Vice President Bob Pulford and General Manager Dale Tallon since joining the club.

Dudley's career in hockey has been successful at all levels, as a player, coach and executive. Known as a person who will leave no stone unturned in the search for talent, Rick prefers traveling to scout hockey games rather than spending all his time in an office.

Dudley, 57, joined the Blackhawks after serving as the General Manager of the Florida Panthers for two seasons (2002-03 to 2003-04). Prior to joining the Panthers, Dudley spent two and a half seasons as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, completely revamping the Lightning's team and system, adding much needed depth with an emphasis on skill, speed and character. His Tampa Bay squads improved every season during his tenure. Rick played a vital role in building the nucleus of the 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning by acquiring such players as Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin St. Louis, Dave Anderchuk and Fredrik Modin and Tim Taylor.

Before joining the Lightning, Rick served as General Manager of the Ottawa Senators for the 1998-99 season. Under his guidance, the Senators finished with 103 points, an increase of 20 points from the previous season, and third best overall record that season.

Rick spent four highly successful seasons with the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League before joining the Senators. He was named General Manager and Head Coach for the Viper's inaugural season in 1994-95 and handed over the coaching reign's midway through the 1995-96 season.

Under Rick's direction the Vipers finished with more than 100 points each of their first four seasons and he led Detroit to the 1997 Turner Cup Championship. In four seasons with Dudley at the helm, Detroit posted an astonishing 200-92-35 record and never finished lower than fifth overall in the IHL standings.

While in Detroit, Dudley was credited with uncovering future National Hockey League standouts Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan as well as bringing over 17-year old phenom Sergei Samsonov. Samsonov helped lead the Vipers to the 1996 Turner Cup Championship and became the NHL's Rookie of the Year the following season.

As a General Manager, Dudley has been to the finals eight times in three different leagues (IHL, AHL and the ECHL) and has won four championships. A lifetime hockey man, Dudley was a Head Coach of the Buffalo Sabres from 1989-92. In two-and-a-half seasons behind the bench with the Sabres, he compiled an 85-72-31 mark, including a 45-27-8 record in 1989-90, That 98-point season was good enough to place the Sabers third overall in the NHL, and Dudley finished third in the voting for the Jack Adams Trophy for the NHL's Coach of the Year.

Dudley was the Head Coach of the IHL's Phoenix Roadrunners in 1993-94, when he took over the reigns of the last place club and led them to the league's best record over the remainder of the season. His other Head Coaching jobs came with the IHL's San Diego Gulls (1992-93), the AHL's New Haven Nighthawks (1988-89), the IHL's Flint Spirits (1986-88) and the ECHL's Carolina Thunderbirds (1981-86). Dudley amassed a 576-196-51 lifetime record as a Head Coach and while in San Diego in 1992-93 his team set marks for the best start in professional hockey history (25-0-1) and the most wins in a season in professional hockey history (62).

The Toronto native played six seasons with the Sabres from 1972-73 to 1974-75 and 1978-79 to 1980-81, recording 70 goals and 94 assists in 279 games. Following a 31-goal, 39-assist season in 1974-75 with the Sabres, he finished ninth overall in the Hart Trophy voting, Dudley posted back-to-back 40-goal seasons with Cincinnati of the World Hockey Association in 1975-76 and 1976-77, and played briefly for the NHL's Winnipeg Jets and Fredericton of the AHL before retiring as a player during the 1981-82 season.

Upon retiring as a player, Dudley became Owner, General Manager and Coach of the ECHL's Carolina franchise and served as the league's President from 1983-86. Prior to retirement, he had served as Part Owner and Vice President of the Ontario Hockey League's Belleville Bulls.

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