Less than a month after Buffalo Sabres ownership publicly stated that the franchise is supporting Jason Botterill through next season, it was announced he was relieved of his duties Tuesday morning. A move that makes sense all around, here’s why.
Back in his opening year, Botterill’s first lottery pick in the 2017 NHL draft was Casey Mittelstadt. Mittelstadt is currently in the AHL and hasn’t done much in a Sabres uniform in his 3 years with the team.
In early 2018 Botterill traded Evander Kane for just about nothing. but that wasn’t his worst trade during his tenure with the Sabres. The former Sabres GM received quite the heat when he traded Ryan O’Reilly for Patrick Berglund, Tage Thompson, Vladimir Sobotka, and Ryan Johnson. Berglund quit the team, and the other 3 players have been irrelevant on the roster. The biggest pain for Sabres fans is that O’Reilly won the Selke, the Stanley Cup, and the Conn Smythe in his first season with the St. Louis Blues.
Botterill went on to sign Jeff Skinner to a 9 million dollar annual deal over 8 years. Skinner had just 23 points this season, nowhere near worth 9 million.
Botterill was also criticized for trades that he didn’t make. Last season defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen expressed an openness to be dealt by the Sabres, but instead of cashing in on a nice deal, Botterill kept Risto on the team with a surplus of defensemen.
Kevyn Adams now steps in as GM and doesn’t haven’t any shoes to fill but he does have a lot to clean up.