On Tuesday morning, the Buffalo Sabres announced the team had fired general manager Jason Botterill. The Sabres also announced that Senior Vice President of Business Administration Kevyn Adams has been named general manager. In addition, veteran assistant general managers Randy Sexton and Steve Greeley were fired.
We have relieved Jason Botterill of his duties as General Manager.
Senior Vice President of Business Administration Kevyn Adams has been named General Manager. pic.twitter.com/TPAFXvAPej
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) June 16, 2020
Sabres Fire Jason Botterill
While the firing may come to a shock as many, Botterill’s days were numbered in Buffalo. His time as general manager of the Sabres was not the best. The team hired Botterill in May of 2017 and he lasted just a little three years. During his tenure with the Sabres, Buffalo never made the playoffs. Instead of turning the team into a contender, Botterill kept the Sabres in rebuild mode. Not to mention, Botterill had a lot of issues with his players namely captain Jack Eichel, who has voiced his frustrations with management.
The Sabres have missed the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons. The team is one season away from tying the longest streak of missing the playoffs in NHL history. Buffalo’s 206 points over the past three seasons ranks 29th out of 31 teams. While Botterill did restock the prospect pipeline, he will be remembered for trading away forward Ryan O’Reilly. In addition, Botterill signed Jeff Skinner to a lucrative eight-year contract, that the Sabres have yet to see a return on. In addition to those failures, Botterill has a list of failures a mile long that have been documented here.
Statement from Pegulas
In a statement to the media, ownership addressed the change in management by saying:
“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the General Manager of the Sabres. This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during a full review of our hockey operation. We recognized we have philosophical differences regarding how best to put ourselves in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup. So, we decided to make this change.”
This statement only comes three weeks after ownership gave Botterill a vote of confidence.
Kevyn Adams Hired As New General Manager
The Sabres continued to change up the front office. Buffalo announced that Senior Vice President of Business Administration Kevyn Adams was going to take over as general manager. As part of their statement to the press, ownership mentioned that Adam and Head coach Ralph Krueger already have a close working relationship. The Sabres are taking advantage of this long pause and want to come out strong to start the 2020-21 season. The hockey operations department was a mess and the Pegulas hope Adams and Krueger can fix it.
During his 11 seasons in the league, Adams played for six teams including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Columbus Blues Jackets. In 540 career games, he recorded 136 points (59 goals and 77 assists). He joined the Sabres as a development coach in 2009. He then spent two seasons as an assistant coach. After that, he was the director of the Academy of Hockey and general manager at LECOM Harborcenter.
This is the second time since 2013 the Sabres have overhauled their hockey operations department. They need to get this right time. There is too much talent on this team to be this bad for this long. As the Pegulas said, “The fans deserve better.” Confidence is running high around ownership. They feel the combination of Adams and Krueger are capable of providing a consistent, contending team for years to come.
However, that will not be easy. But the good thing about this hiring is the Sabres have time.
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