News broke this morning that Buffalo Sabres ownership had changed course and decided to fire GM Jason Botterill less than a month after confirming him in his role. The Sabres have been relatively trigger happy in the past with leadership roles, evidenced by the fact that Botterill’s predecessor Tim Murray is still on the books until the end of this month, per The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
At least for the next couple of weeks, the Sabres will be bankrolling three different GMs – but the one that matters most now is the new guy: Kevyn Adams. Botterill’s replacement isn’t actually all that new, as he is the Sabres’ current Senior Vice President of Business Administration. Adams originally came to the organization in 2009 as a player development coach before joining the bench an assistant coach from 2011 to 2013, writes NHL.com’s Jourdon LaBarber. Adams is a former player who lasted 11 seasons in the NHL with Toronto, Chicago, Columbus, Florida, Carolina and Phoenix. He won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-2006.
On the promotion of Kevyn Adams to GM, ownership said this: “New General Manager Kevyn Adams and Head Coach Ralph Krueger already have a close working relationship and we are excited to see what they can do together as we reconfigure our hockey operations…We have had the pleasure of watching Kevyn build his post-playing career over the past nine years under multiple roles throughout our organizations. We are confident Kevyn and Ralph will work together to build a consistent contender. As always, we are here to provide the necessary resources…”
It’s a little surprising to see a replacement named so quickly, especially given that the Sabres don’t expect to take the ice again for quite some time. One would think that now would be the perfect time for an exhaustive search for the perfect candidate. If nothing else, the Sabres could have used this opportunity to gain insight into rival organizations through the interview process, as is common practice with this type of hire. Evidently, Sabres’ ownership felt they had the right candidate in-house already.
Adams will presumably be expected to hop-to and show ownership notable improvement. In his favor, the team is already on an upward trajectory, and Adams should have plenty of time to get his house in order prior to the draft and offseason. If the Sabres miss the playoffs next year, they’ll have tied the longest playoff drought in league history.