Adams is entering his third season as general manager and 14th season with the organization overall as an executive. First joining the Sabres as a development coach in 2009-10 after announcing his retirement in early 2009, Adams made the jump to the NHL bench after just two seasons. Named an assistant coach for the 2011-12 season, he was behind the bench for the first two seasons of the team’s current 11-season playoff drought. At that point, he was named a director of the team for 2013-14, whose responsibilities included overseeing Buffalo’s youth hockey program.
For the 2019-20 season, Adams made the jump to senior vice president of business administration, taking on a role working much closer with owners Kim and Terry Pegula. With Buffalo firing Jason Botterill prior to the 2020-21 season, the Sabres named Adams general manager in what was a surprising move at the time.
It’s a move that has worked out well, though, as Buffalo’s finally seemed to solidify an upward trajectory in their years-long rebuild. With Adams being dealt a tough hand early in being forced to trade superstar center Jack Eichel, he received a package that so far includes Sabres top-six forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, as well as 2022 16th overall pick Noah Östlund. The Sabres also still have a 2023 second-round selection courtesy of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Adams has also had to lock down a good portion of Buffalo’s core, and it’s been so far, so good. He signed All-Star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin to a three-year bridge deal in September of 2021 and got Tage Thompson under contract for seven years a few weeks ago, although the jury remains out on that massive contract.
Owner Terry Pegula gave a statement on the hiring:
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. 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 manager.