Botterill hasn’t shut door on Gionta’s return, but is there a ‘fit’ any longer?

‘Saturday’s four-player trade with Minneapolis that brought Jason Pominville, 34, back to Buffalo made it more difficult to find a role for Gionta to fill in Buffalo. Pominville also plays right wing and can fill the veteran leadership role as a third-liner and on special teams.’

Buffalo Sabres add goalteending depth in free agency

‘“We wanted to add depth to our organization and strengthen Rochester, but also put us in a situation that if we ran into injuries in Buffalo that we would have players and can come in and contribute at the NHL level,” said Botterill. “As you’ll see with most of the guys we picked up today, we wanted guys in their mid-20s that could help us grow as an organization.”’

Sabres turn to Hall of Famer Chris Taylor to end Amerks’ prolonged funk

‘Taylor helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to the AHL’s best record at 51-20-3-2, good for 107 points. The Baby Penguins made their 14th consecutive playoff appearance with Taylor running the defense, which allowed a league-low 170 goals over 76 games. Fifteen players earned NHL call-ups as Pittsburgh won its second consecutive Stanley Cup.’

Sabres land Penguins top scout, Randy Sexton, for second stint as Amerks GM

‘Sexton’s work was behind the drafting of Matt Murray, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson and Olli Maatta, each a key contributor to the Penguins’ latest Cup run. All but Maatta spent considerable time developing in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where Botterill had his hand on the pulse of the team and worked closely with the coaching staff.’

Take that, Charles Barkley! Bills’ Williams and Sabres’ Eichel don’t shy from being role models

‘“First off, we know Charles Barkley speaks a ton of garbage,’’ said Eichel, not swayed by Barkley’s professed love of hockey. “For someone to say athletes aren’t role models is a pretty ridiculous statement. Anyone can be a role model, whether it’s parents, someone in the community, athletes who play professionally you look up to, or it’s an athlete that’s on your team. … I do look at myself as a role model and hopefully some of you do. If I can help you in anyway, that’s what I want to do, that’s what a role model does. I know I have an impact on people’s lives and I just try and make it a positive one.’’’

Sabres select center Casey Mittelstadt, Minnesota high school’s ‘Mr. Hockey’

‘Mittelstadt, 6-0, 201 pounds, was ranked the No. 3 overall player among North American skaters by the NHL’s Central Scouting. Six of the top 10 ranked North American skaters and seven of the top 10 internationally ranked skaters were available to the Sabres when their pick came up.’

Eichel gives McDavid his props but makes it clear he’s gunning for his MVP title

‘“I’ll do whatever it takes,’’ Eichel said. “To be honest, I want to be the best, and he’s the best right now, so I got to be better than him.’’’

Kyle Williams and Jack Eichel visit Golisano Children’s Hospital before AGR awards

‘Those photos of Eichel and Williams are just about guaranteed to be placed next to Greif’s jersey with autographs from the Rochester Rhinos, Rochester’s professional soccer team.’

Sabres name former defenseman, Hockey Hall of Famer, Phil Housley as coach

‘Botterill, with Housley’s input, will name the Rochester Americans coach after interviewing candidates at the NHL Draft next week in Chicago.’

Amerks MVP Ullmark gets contract extension with Sabres

‘Teams can protect only one netminder from being selected by the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Sabres will surely protect Robin Lehner, their No. 1 goalie, who is also scheduled to be a restricted free agent. Each team’s list of protected players (seven forwards, three defensemen, one goaltender or eight skaters regardless of position and one goalie) must be submitted by Saturday.’

Sabres Botterill deserved chance to be Penguin for one more day

‘You’re more likely to see a Zamboni fly than to witness a sitting GM of another team welcomed back into the fold like this. But it speaks volumes as to how much Botterill is respected by the Penguins and how much his work over 10 seasons was appreciated.’

Terry Pegula’s new Bills/Sabres GMs said the right word: ‘Collaborate’

‘The resumes of Botterill and Beane are interchangeable, two men who worked their way up the sports business food chain starting as coffee-fetching interns. Where many traditional GMs travel the hard-scrabble road of scouting, Botterill and Beane came up in the world of contract negotiations, salary cap management, budgets and logistics, all the office stuff scouts can’t stand once they become GMs.’

Buffalo Sabres select ex-Rochester Amerk Jason Botterill as new GM

‘“I think it’s a great hire,” said Rory Fitzpatrick, a teammate of Botterill’s with the Sabres and Amerks. “Obviously, from a player’s perspective he was a hard-working, respected team guy and very smart. From a management side, he’s put the time in and helped build one of best franchises in the NHL, so I think it’s a really good hire.”‘

Pegula’s mantra to fix Buffalo Sabres inspiring but not convincing

‘Murray said himself he was left to do his own thing by Pegula while Bylsma was pretty much left to do his own thing by Murray. How is that possible? But then, structure and communication faults also hastened Ryan’s dismissal with the Bills.’

Sabres captain Brian Gionta ‘shocked’ by housecleaning

‘“It’s a business, pro sports, I’ve been around and I know how it works,’’ said Gionta, who spoke Thursday night at the Rochester Press-Radio dinner where he received the prestigious Major Don Holleder Award. “But my views haven’t changed. I’d love to see this through. I think there is potential with the team and I’d love to be part of that, but at end of the day it’s on the new management team and ownership to see what direction that is.’’’