When Jason Botterill addressed the media following another season without playoff hockey in Buffalo, the Sabres’ general manager referred to the organization of the prospect pipeline as a key element of its plan to build a Stanley Cup opponent.
Despite the receipt of a public in support of its president to the team at the beginning of the offseason, Botterill will not be looking at the prospects to develop.
Owner Terry Pegula made big changes for the Sabres hockey operations department on Tuesday, shooting Botterill and to appoint Kevyn Adams director-general. Botterill to assistant general managers, Randy Sexton, and Steve Greeley, have also been fired, a source told The Buffalo News.
Adams, 45, will reconfigure the hockey department, which has been revised twice since November 2013, but that it does not have a significant experience in the NHL front office.
Adams played 11 seasons in the NHL before joining the Sabres as a development coach in 2009. He spent two seasons as an assistant coach, followed by a stint at LECOM Harborcenter as the director of the Academy of Hockey and general manager. Adams has worked as the Sabres’ Senior Vice-President of Business Administration.
“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill, it will not be the General manager of the Sabres,” the Pegulas said in a statement. “This decision was taken after many discussions with Jason over the course of a comprehensive review of our hockey operation. We have recognized that we have philosophical differences as to the best way to put us in a position to compete for the Stanley Cup. So, we decided to make this change.
“We wish Jason and his family all the best going forward, and we thank him for his time and energy devoted to our organization and the City of Buffalo.
“A new General manager Kevyn Adams and Head Coach Ralph Krueger already have a close working relationship and we look forward to seeing what they can do together, as we reconfigure our operations to hockey,” the Pegulas added. “We have the benefit of this long-term 2020 to pause and take the time to reorganize and re-energize our hockey department. We recognize the importance of this offseason with all the player decisions.
“Our fans deserve better, and we are all responsible of the support to improve and give them a coherence, supporting the team for years to come. “
Adams is the fourth director general of the Sabres in the Pegulas as owners
The Sabres have missed the playoffs for nine consecutive seasons, far from tying the longest drought in the history of the NHL, and their 206 points in three years under Botterill rank 29th out of 31 teams. The team of President Kim Pegula told the Associated Press last month that Botterill would be back next season; however, a more thorough evaluation of the front office led to the decision.
During his time in Buffalo, Botterill was able to rebuild the Sabres ‘ depth on defense and strengthened the perspective with the pipeline project of choice such as Dylan Cozens, Casey serves as the, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Mattias Samuelsson, Ryan Johnson Oskari Laaksonen, Erik Portillo, Jacob Bryson and Matej Pekar.
The next wave of young talent was supposed to complete a core that includes Jack Eichel, Rasmus Dahlin, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Dahlin, Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson. But Botterill has been missed on some free-agent signings and trades, including the one that sent Ryan O’reilly in Saint-Louis in exchange for Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and two draft picks, including a first-round pick that the Sabres used on defenseman Ryan Johnson.
O’reilly did the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs. Berglund left the Sabres after only 23 games in 2018-19, Sobotka has six goals in 85 games in two seasons and Thompson on-ice development has been slowed by a season-ending shoulder injury in November.
The trade of the left, the Sabre naked in the centre and serves as the wasn’t ready for a leading role at the position. In addition, the failure to play in the middle, led to more problems with depth scoring, as the Sabres continued to rely heavily on the Eichel, Reinhart, Olofsson, and Skinner.
Despite receiving a career high of 36 goals from Eichel and handing Skinner a $ 72 million contract, the Sabres continued to struggle in attack this season. The team has scored just 10 goals during a period of six consecutive defeats from Feb. March 26,, 7, marking the end of their long shot chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
Skinner scored a career-low 14 goals in 59 games and Marcus Johansson, a free-agent acquisition last July, finished with nine goals. Most of Botterill three seasons with the organization, the team ranked 30th in goals scored.
Botterill also do not receive as much of the production of the long-awaited trade acquisitions Conor Sheary, Jimmy Vesey and Michael Frolik. The latter was acquired from Calgary in January in exchange for a fourth round draft pick and has scored just one empty-net goal while having a negative impact on the penalty kill. Sheary and Vesey
During this time, defenseman Marco Scandella, whose Sabres traded to Montreal for the draft pick, which was then sent to Calgary for Frolik, it was later worn by the Montreal Canadiens for the Blues for two draft picks, including a second-rounder. Scandella then signed a four-year, $13.1 million extension with St. Louis. Frolik is due to the prorated amount of his $ 4.3 million salary, which has pushed the Sabre to the salary-cap ceiling and premiums to the entry-level players created a surplus that will affect the team expenses for the upcoming season.
Botterill has also been criticized by fans and media for the trades, he did not. In April of last year, defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen expressed a willingness to be treated by the Sabres, but he stayed on the team and Botterill created surplus on the blue line, last summer, by the acquisition of Henri Jokiharju and Colin Miller.
While Jokiharju emerged as a building block on the roster, Miller was struggling to earn their role under the tutelage of Ralph Krueger, and has appeared in only 51 games. When Zach Bogosian returned from hip surgery in November, the Sabres inserted Bogosian of the range and has waited until the month of February in place of him, with no exceptions, in spite of his public expression of discontent with his role in the team.
The surplus prevented the Sabres from playing defenseman Lawrence Pilut, who has signed a two-year contract in Russia’s kontinental Hockey League last week.
“Our fans deserve better, and we are all responsible of the support to improve and give them a coherence, supporting the team for years to come,” the Pegulas said.