This afternoon, John Wawrow of the AP indicated that the Buffalo Sabres had finalized the decision to keep Jason Botterill as their general manager for next season. Kim Pegula was quoted in the report and had the following to say:
It’s tough to get a handle on what ownership can see that those on the outside cannot. Since the Pegulas purchased the team in 2011, the Sabres have only made the playoffs one time. Buffalo also holds the league’s longest postseason drought which officially reached nine years after failing to qualify for the expanded 24-team playoff.
Sadly, the added condescension in the above quote came as no surprise from an organization that seems to care very little about fan engagement.
While Botterill has done a handful of good things during his time in Buffalo, his list of poor decisions and general inaction is difficult to ignore. As the Sabres approach a critical offseason that has the potential to affect the team’s salary cap for the next five years (or more), it is interesting to see the organization double-down on a demonstrably bad asset manager.
Hopefully he can prove his doubters wrong and acquire enough talent to push the Sabres into the playoffs in 2021. Otherwise, a new GM will come in and have to deal with all of the moves Botterill made while trying to save his job. Another reason why the Sabres have taken a big risk in retaining someone who must make the playoffs in order to keep his job.