BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Buffalo Sabres and general manager Kevyn Adams have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Adams, a Clarence native and former NHL player, is entering his third season as GM after more than a decade working for the Sabres organization. He joined the franchise in 2009 as a player development coach, and has also served as an assistant coach, general manager for LECOM Harborcenter, president of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres, and vice president of business administration.
Though his rebuilding job is far from complete, the contract extension is an indication that ownership believes he has the franchise pointed in the right direction.
“Kevyn’s leadership and vision over the past two seasons has proven to be invaluable, and I am confident in his ability to continue to move us forward as an organization,” Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in a news release. “He is respected by players, coaches, staff, and peers around the league alike due to the poise with which he carries himself and the respect he reciprocates to every individual he encounters. He has grown in different roles throughout the organization, providing him unique perspectives that help him perform at the highest level as general manger.”
Adams is scheduled to speak at a press conference Thursday morning before the Sabres open training camp.
The Sabres had a 32-39-11 record last season, good for 75 points and an 11th-place finish in the Eastern Conference. That extended Buffalo’s postseason drought to 11 seasons, an NHL record. But the Sabres finished with a flourish, amassing a 15-9-3 record over the final two months that equates to a playoff-caliber 100 points over a full season. They were led by young players, including center Tage Thompson, who scored a career-best 38 goals.
Adams had no NHL management experience before he was promoted to GM after Jason Botterill was fired in June, 2020. At the time of his promotion, Adams said, “Many of you know that I grew up in Western New York and I wore No. 11 when I started playing hockey because of watching Gilbert Perreault. This is a very special day for me and my family.”
In Adams’ first season as GM, the Sabres tallied 37 points (15-34-7), the worst record in the league and third-lowest points percentage in the franchise’s 51-year history. In the midst of a record 18-game losing streak, Adams fired coach Ralph Krueger and elevated assistant Don Granato to replace him. Granato has been praised for his development of a young Sabres roster.
Adams purged much of the core of the team, highlighted by the trade that sent captain Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights in November. His plan was to rebuild the Sabres through youth and around players who valued being in Buffalo. Adam’s influence was apparent from the impact of forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, who were acquired in the trade for Eichel. Through other moves, Adams has restocked the Sabres’ farm system with a series of first-round draft selections, and freed up space under the salary cap by ridding the team of overpriced and underperforming players.
The 47-year-old Adams played 11 NHL seasons as a center for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes, and Chicago Blackhawks. He won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006. He was drafted with the 25th overall selection by the Boston Bruins in 1993.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Jonah Bronstein is a digital sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022.