The Buffalo Sabres announced today that they have fired GM Jason Botterill after the team missed the playoffs for the 9th consecutive season. During Botterill's three seasons in Buffalo, the team ranked 29th in the NHL in points, with 206.
Sabres - "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.
I think change was inevitable after Sabres Captain Jack Eichel voiced his frustrations with the team earlier last week. Thats not to say Eichel got the guy fired, but when your star player and one of the top players in the league publicly voices his concerns on his frustrations with the team, something needs to be done, and the Pegulas thought the change that was needed was at the GM position.
And let's be honest, it is such a god damn shame they haven't figured this out in Buffalo. You have one of the best fan bases in the NHL. You have one of the top players in the league, in his prime, along with a few other young pieces that any team would kill to have. You're telling me a team wouldn't give an arm and a leg for Rasmus Dahlin? He isn't even old enough to legally have a drink in the United States, his whole career his ahead of him.
I think where Botterill failed the Sabres is providing them with a goalie and more help on defense. The team acquired Carton Hutton to be the "savior" before the 18-19 season, but that didn't go as planned. Hutton actually recently came forward about a vision probably he has had the past few seasons and hopes to have it fixed for the upcoming season. But the failure to address the goalie issue in Buffalo has been a major problem during the Eichel tenure in Buffalo.
So now what? How can new GM Kevyn Adams fix this team? First off, change his name. Thats a sketchy way to spell Kevin if we are being honest. Second, get Jack Eichel on the phone. It should be a fairly simple conversation. "Jack, what do we need to do to improve this roster?" If anyone knows this roster inside and out, it's Captain Jack. And third, just trade Rasmus Ristolainen. It seems like every season this guy wants out of Buffalo, just let him go at this point. There is clearly a culture problem in Buffalo and if guys don't want to play there then let them go. Get some guys who want to win and want to represent the great people of Buffalo.
The Sabres aren't just going to get another player like Jack Eichel to walk through the door too, especially with their odds in this year's draft lottery. So Adams needs to be very strategic in the moves he makes this offseason.
Detroit Red Wings (.275) -- 18.5 percent chance for No. 1 pick
Ottawa Senators (.437) -- 13.5 percent
Ottawa Senators (from San Jose Sharks, .450) -- 11.5 percent
Los Angeles Kings (.457) -- 9.5 percent
Anaheim Ducks (.472) -- 8.5 percent
New Jersey Devils (.493) -- 7.5 percent
Buffalo Sabres (.493) -- 6.5 percent
It's insane that the people of Buffalo are some of the biggest hockey fans in North America yet they haven't seen Playoff Hockey in almost 10 years. Sabres Mafia deserves better. Jack Eichel deserves better. The NHL deserves better.