The Buffalo Sabres have relieved General Manager Jason Botterill of his duties after three years in the role, per a team release. Senior Vice President of Business Administration Kevyn Adams will take over as Botterill’s permanent replacement.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise as we’re just three weeks removed from ownership announcing a plan to keep Botterill in his role. Botterill joined the Sabres as a respected hockey mind from the Penguins organization.
Sabres’ owners Terry and Kim Pegula released a statement this morning with the news, reasoning the change thusly: “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.”
The statement goes on to thank Botterill for his time with the Sabres. During his three years span, Botterill signed star Jack Eichel to a long-term contract (8-years, $80MM), but the Sabres failed to finish higher than 6th in the Atlantic Division. This season, they finished 25th overall, just one spot out of the 24-team playoff. They haven’t reached the postseason since the 2010-2011 season – the longest active postseason drought in the NHL.
More changes could be afoot for the Sabres, as Botterill’s firing did not happen in a vacuum. Wholesale changes are being made to the Sabres’ hockey operations department. Assistant GM Randy Sexton as also let go by the club, per the Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun. Steve Greeley was another casualty, tweets Frank Seravalli of TSN Sports, though Seravalli thinks Greeley and Sexton should have no trouble catching on with another organization.