After having an interview for the Buffalo Sabres’ GM job last week, Pittsburgh associate GM Jason Botterill has had a second meeting with the club according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. That doesn’t make anything clear to him on where the process stands, which is still yet to be decided.
Botterill is an interesting option for the Sabres, as though he doesn’t have the decades of experience some of the other available names posses, he was the interim GM of the Penguins for a time between Ray Shero and Jim Rutherford. He’s also been a big part of the Penguins front office for years, and assumes some of the day to day operations with Rutherford still.
Yesterday, Brian Burke was on Sportsnet radio in Toronto and was asked by John Shannon generally if he believes teams should install systems similar to the one operating in Calgary. That is, to have a President of Hockey Operations—or whatever title given—who is a former GM who can take some of the pressure off the rest of the front office. His point, was that with that situation you can hire a “green” GM who will learn on the job, backed up by someone who has the experience.
For his part, Sabres owner Terry Pegula made clear his feelings on whether the lack of that position was a problem in Tim Murray’s tenure. From his presser:
Q: Do you regret going back to the same model of a general manager without a hockey person above him to answer to when [Pat] LaFontaine was pushed out?
On that note though he did admit that the decisions about organizational structure will be broadly determined with the first hire and where that person stands in their career and philosophies. If Botterill—or any other AGM—is brought in first, it does seem unlikely that they would then install a more experienced manager above him.