The Sabres made some massive changes to their front office on Tuesday, starting with the firing of general manager Jason Botterill.
Botterill was general manager of the Sabres for three seasons, taking the job in 2017 after spending 10 years in the Penguins organization as the director of hockey operations and later assistant and associate general manager. He had two years remaining on his contract with the Sabres.
The Sabres named Kevyn Adams, who was previously the senior vice president of business administration, the new general manager.
"This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the General Manager of the Sabres," owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement. "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 firing comes three weeks after Kim Pegula gave Botterill a vote of confidence in an interview with the Associated Press.
"He's our GM. Our plan is to continue with him," Pegula said in May. "I realize maybe it's not popular with the fans, but we have to do the things that we feel are right. We have a little bit more information than maybe a fan does, some inner workings that we see some positives in."
Kim Pegula said in a virtual press conference on Tuesday that the decision to fire Botterill now was influenced by the NHL Draft being pushed back to the fall, giving Adams time to establish himself in the new role.
Also fired on Tuesday were assistant general managers Steve Greeley and Randy Sexton. Sexton was formerly the Penguins' assistant director of amateur scouting from 2010-13, and the director of amateur scouting from 2013-17 before following Botterill to Buffalo.
The Sabres also fired the entire AHL Rochester Americans coaching staff: head coach Chris Taylor, and assistant coaches Gord Dineen and Toby Petersen. Taylor was hired by Botterill in June 2017, shortly after Botterill was hired by the Sabres. The Americans posted a 116-65-20-13 record under Taylor and clinched a Calder Cup playoff spot in their first two seasons under Taylor, and were in playoff position this season before the season ended due to the coronavirus.
Elliotte Friedman reported on Tuesday that the Sabres had also fired director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski and "a good chunk of amateur (scouting) staff." Jankowski was another early hire of Botterill's in 2017. Assistant director of amateur scouting Jeff Crisp was among the cuts. Crisp was a scout in the Sabres' organization prior to Botterill's tenure, but was promoted to assistant director under Botterill.
Player development coaches Krys Barch and Mike Komisarek were also fired. Barch was a skills coach for three years prior to Botterill's tenure, and was promoted to development coach by Botterill. Komisarek was hired by Botterill in Botterill's first season.
The Sabres have failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs in the last nine seasons, the longest active playoff appearance drought in the NHL.
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