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Three Years Later: How Would You Grade Jason Botterill?

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With three years under his belt, Sabres GM leaves more to be desired

2018 NHL Lottery Draft Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Three years ago, Jason Botterill took over the helm as general manager of the Buffalo Sabres. When the hiring happened, I was hesitant to “grade” the hiring, as some said. How can you grade something like that immediately after it happens?

Now, three years later, it seems fair to lay things out and see just what Botterill has, or has not, accomplished during his time with the Buffalo Sabres.

How would you grade Botterill’s accomplishments in three seasons as general manager?

First, let’s start with a list of all the trades that Botterill has executed in his three years with the Sabres:

  • 2017 3rd-round pick to MTL for Nathan Bealieu
  • 2017 6th-round pick to VGK for expansion draft considerations
  • Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno & 2018 3rd-round pick to MIN for Marco Scandella, Jason Pominville & 2018 4th-round pick
  • Nicolas Deslauriers to MTL for Zach Redmond
  • 2019 5th-round pick to DET for Scott Wilson
  • Evander Kane to SJS for 2019 conditional 1st-round pick, Daniel O’Regan & 2020 4th-round pick
  • Hudson Fasching to ARI for Brandon Hickey & Mike Sislo
  • 2019 conditional 4th-round pick to PIT for Conor Sheary & Matt Hunwick
  • Ryan O’Reilly to STL for Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund, Tage Thompson, 2019 1st-round pick & 2021 2nd-round pick
  • Cliff Pu, 2019 2nd-round pick, 2020 3rd- and 6th-round picks for Jeff Skinner
  • Nick Baptiste to NSH for Jack Dougherty
  • Taylor Fedun to DAL for 2020 7th-round pick
  • Justin Bailey to PHI for Taylor Leier
  • Brendan Guhle & 2019 1st-round pick to ANA for Brandon Montour
  • Nathan Beaulieu to WPG for 2019 6th-round pick
  • 2021 2nd-round pick & 2022 5th-round pick to VGK for Colin Miller
  • 2021 3rd-round pick to NYR for Jimmy Vesey
  • Alexander Nylander to CHI for Henri Jokiharju
  • Devante Stephens to TBL for Matthew Spencer
  • Marco Scandella to MTL for 2020 4th-round pick
  • 2020 4th-round pick to CGY for Michael Frolik
  • 2021 conditional 5th-round pick to NJD for Wayne Simmonds
  • Conor Sheary & Evan Rodrigues to PIT for Dominik Kahun

Over the course of the last three years, some of the players Botterill has signed for the Sabres include: Chad Johnson, Victor Antipin, Arttu Ruotsalainen, John Gilmour, Brandon Biro and Dawson DiPietro. (The last two are the most recent free-agent signings by the Sabres.)

In his position as general manager, Botterill has helped the Sabres draft 18 players, two of whom have NHL experience today.

In 2017, the Sabres picked: Casey Mittelstadt, Marcus Davidsson, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Oskari Laaksonen, Jacob Bryson and Linus Weissbach. In 2018, it was Rasmus Dahlin, Mattias Samuelsson, Matej Pekar, Linus Lindstrand Cronholm, Miska Kukkonen and William Worge Kreu.

Finally, in 2019, the Sabres picked Dylan Cozens, Ryan Johnson, Erik Portillo, Aaron Huglen, Filip Cederqvist and Lukas Rousek.

Botterill was also part of bringing head coach Ralph Krueger to Buffalo for the 2019-20 season.

Before we get to grading, one last look at how the Sabres have finished in the last three seasons:

49 Seasons Table
Season Lg Team GP W L T OL PTS PTS% SRS SOS Finish Playoffs Coaches
2019-20 NHL Buffalo Sabres 69 30 31 8 68 .493 -0.34 -0.03 6th of 8 R. Krueger (30-31-8)
2018-19 NHL Buffalo Sabres 82 33 39 10 76 .463 -0.51 0.04 6th of 8 P. Housley (33-39-10)
2017-18 NHL Buffalo Sabres 82 25 45 12 62 .378 -0.98 0.01 8th of 8 P. Housley (25-45-12)
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/11/2020.

So, now — with all the information laid out in front of us... vote in the poll below. What grade do you give Jason Botterill after his first three years with the Buffalo Sabres?

Poll

How do you grade Jason Botterill after his first three years with the Buffalo Sabres?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Excellent
    (7 votes)
  • 8%
    Good
    (114 votes)
  • 33%
    Neutral / Okay
    (440 votes)
  • 41%
    Bad
    (538 votes)
  • 15%
    Very Bad
    (206 votes)
1305 votes total Vote Now