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Jbot Referendum - Is he Good or Bad or Are You Unsure?

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Obviously I’m generally in Jbot’s corner so far.  I like his overall plan and many of his moves so far.  I like what he and Sexton have done in Rochester.  I think he has done a good job drafting, managing the cap and adding prospects like Pilut and Routsalainen to fill holes in our prospect pipeline.

I give him a pass in year one because the team needed a fresh start and Jbot IMHO was working more toward fixing the cap structure then fielding a decent team.  I understand why this might anger some, but I view it, using a gardening metaphor, as pruning the dead branches to enable better long-term growth.  He and we got lucky and ended up with Dahlin as a side benefit from his pruning. 

I’m also very pleased with his recent acquisitions.  The Skinner, Montour, Sheary, Jokiharju and Miller deals were all great value pickups.  I like the Johansson signing.  I thought he did a good job of getting out from under Ennis’ deal.   I didn’t mind the chances he took on Baloo and the one he just took on Vesey, and don’t mind trading Carrier to LV to protect Ullmark.

But there have been some significant disappointments.  I thought and still think he didn’t get enough for Kane.  A late first (that really was a 2nd until SJ re-signed him) and a good AHL forward is a terrible return for a top 6 scoring winger.  

I also remain disappointed that he didn’t react at all when Beglund walked.  He waited to long to send Thompson down and by not upgrading Berglund he wasted Mitts first season by putting him in a situation he wasn’t ready for.  We also don’t know if he has solved the 2C issue.

I’m also still on the fence about the ROR deal.   We now stand at Sobotka (who we all want gone), Thompson, Johnson and Miller (plus saving Berglund’s former cap hit.) for ROR.  I understand why people are pissed considering ROR Cup winning campaign, but as I’ve said before the team giving up the best player loses these deals in the short-term.  However long-term we may end up with 3 very solid players out of this deal including possibly 2 next season.  

My overall grade for Jbot so far is B.  Had we competed for a playoff spot last season, I would have given him an A.  I like the depth our organization has for the first time in recent memory at all positions. There are not many organizations that are 7 deep with legit NHL RHD with more on the way.  However we still have questions in the top 6, but we have the assets to fix those issues when the right deal comes along or if some of the kids, like Olofsson, Thompson, and/or Mitts step up.  I expect this team to make a run at the playoffs this season despite the improvements other teams in our division have made.

i also think, talent, cap and depth wise this team is in a much better place to compete long-term then they were 2 years ago.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN
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Generally still in show me mode, leaning towards the negative though.  He’s had plenty of time for the team to show progress.

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1 minute ago, Weave said:

Generally still in show me mode, leaning towards the negative though.  He’s had plenty of time for the team to show progress.

Close to the same for me, but maybe a little more hopeful.

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Like the long-term approach he takes, the thoughtful template he has created for the organization and the businesslike way he runs it.

Like his propensity for collecting mobile defencemen. Hate the fact he has yet to fill the key roles of 2C and 1G.

Baffled by the ROR move.

Skeptical of his player evaluation skills.

 

The latter is key. I’m open to idea that Botterill needed some time to put his stamp on the organization and build his vision. Generally, GMs should get five years before they can be fairly and fully judged.

But it’s year three. I need to see positive contributions and growth from the players he has acquired and developed.

Edited by dudacek
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It's really too soon for any reasonable person to have a strong feeling one way or another. 

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

Like the long-term approach he takes, the thoughtful template he has created for the organization and the businesslike way he runs it.

Like his propensity for collecting mobile defencemen. Hate the fact he has yet to fill the key roles of 2C and 1G.

Baffled by the ROR move.

Skeptical of his player evaluation skills.

 

The latter is key. I’m open to idea that Botterill needed some time to put his stamp on the organization and build his vision. Generally, GMs should get five years before they can be fairly and fully judged.

But it’s year three. I need to see positive contributions and growth from the players he has acquired and developed.

This is where I am at and the lack of high end developed centers is concerning except there are not many to trade for, but waiting sucks.

Edited by North Buffalo

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The ROR definitely soured me on him. I was ecstatic though and was woefully optimistic before that though. I like what I'm seeing in Rochester and I like most of his other moves, but I haven't had a moment that has truly made me a JBOT believer. I feel like his moves in the next few months with our current glut of defenseman will define that. If he makes moves to create a truly dangerous 2nd line, then I'm a believer. If he doesn't or trades them for picks, I'm on the disappointed train. 

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If ROR was disgruntled and wanted out of town, JBot's hand may have been forced.  I assume he shopped around and got the best deal that he could.  The same could be said on the Kane deal.  That said, and we'll never know, but perhaps he waited too long and rejected superior offers, waiting for something better, then was forced to take less at the deadline because something better didn't materialize.

He did very well on the Skinner trade and the Montour trade might work out well too.  He's doing a good job of building organizational depth.  

The Housley hire turned out to be a huge bust, but Phil was the most highly regarded "hot assistant" on the market and he took a shot.  He's getting a 2nd shot with Krueger.  If this one fails, he's done.

So, to sum it up, there's some good, some bad and time will tell.  I'm in favor of giving him a conditional pass and seeing how things play out over the next 1-2 years.

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12 minutes ago, StuckinFL said:

The ROR definitely soured me on him. I was ecstatic though and was woefully optimistic before that though. I like what I'm seeing in Rochester and I like most of his other moves, but I haven't had a moment that has truly made me a JBOT believer. I feel like his moves in the next few months with our current glut of defenseman will define that. If he makes moves to create a truly dangerous 2nd line, then I'm a believer. If he doesn't or trades them for picks, I'm on the disappointed train. 

I think many people are waiting to see what he does with Risto or someone else.   I do agree the team’s performance this coming season will ultimately settle this referendum on Jbot.  TP has said it’s time for this team to start winning and I think everyone, fans, players and management agree.

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Incomplete, trending positively. From outside the organization the ROR trade looks horrible. I truly believe there were off ice reasons - likely decided the locker room wasn't big enough for ROR and Jack - that the trade was made. 

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Unsure, but cautiously optimistic.

Agree in large part with the OP.

With the exception of what he got back for the 3 key pieces that Murray brought in via trade that he &/or upper management decided needed to be gone & the choice of his 1st HC, believe he has at minimum not flailed and in several cases may have done very well.

Felt he could have gotten more in return for Kane had he been more flexible on the return mid-season.  Still very much dislike the O'Reilly deal, but there's definitely more to that story than we're privy to, so actually cut him a pass on that one.  And doubt there was any other reasonable course of action on Lehner.  When you're dealt a bad hand, folding is a legit option.

Still would like to have seen a 6 year deal for Reinhart rather than the bridge.  Expect he could've been had for ~$6-6.5MM/ year and now will end up around $8MM/ year. 

He does seem to have a reasonable LT plan in place, which is good.  His unwillingness to deviate from it when conditions change significantly from what they were when the plan was formulated (quick start to season, getting about $4.5MM in cap space magically dropped in his lap), isn't.

The Montour and Skinner pick ups will likely provide dividends for years.  His other moves all pretty much seem lateral at worst and bringing in upgrades of talent without weakening the prospect pool significantly at best.

Bringing in a successful goalie coach could be his biggest move to date this off-season.  Getting October-November goaltending all season would be huge.  They showed they can do it; now hopefully they can do it sustainably.

If Krueger isn't a washout, this team should be competing for a playoff spot until early March and if he upgrades 2C until early April.

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9 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I think many people are waiting to see what he does with Risto or someone else.   I do agree the team’s performance this coming season will ultimately settle this referendum on Jbot. TP has said it’s time for this team to start winning and I think everyone, fans, players and management agree.

Disagree.  Unless the team woefully under performs, Botterill will be back again.  I expect year 4 is his make or break year.  They end up in the playoffs and he gets extended; they miss and Pegula ends up paying another guy not to work for him.

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4 minutes ago, Taro T said:

Disagree.  Unless the team woefully under performs, Botterill will be back again.  I expect year 4 is his make or break year.  They end up in the playoffs and he gets extended; they miss and Pegula ends up paying another guy not to work for him.

I think you actually agree with me.  This team needs to show improvement this season.  Another under 80 pt season will be a disappointment considering the additions of Miller, Montour, Johansson and Jokiharju so far.  If that happens, I worry that TP tosses Jbot.  If they improve, but don’t make the playoffs, I agree he gets year 4. 

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5 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I think you actually agree with me.  This team needs to show improvement this season.  Another under 80 pt season will be a disappointment considering the additions of Miller, Montour, Johansson and Jokiharju so far.  If that happens, I worry that TP tosses Jbot.  If they improve, but don’t make the playoffs, I agree he gets year 4. 

But, if they end up high 80's/ low 90's (which is most likely scenario at present) then he gets another year and no 'referendum" was decided.  That decision of whether he's here for the long haul or not gets pushed off for another year.

Edited by Taro T

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Just now, Taro T said:

But, if they end up high 80's/ low 90's (which is most likely scenario at present) then he gets another year and no 'referendum" was decided.  That decision of whether he's here for the long haul it not gets pushed off for another year.

Fair enough.

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He's bad and I am definitely not unsure about it.

 

 

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He made some good moves, and also one of the dumbest trades of all time that has left a catastrophically gaping hole down the middle.  The team has been unwatchable for his first two years.  He also has been in salary cap hell...so this year we need to see improvement.  

Edited by Gatorman0519
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1 hour ago, darksabre said:

It's really too soon for any reasonable person to have a strong feeling one way or another. 

The truth.

-------------------

These days I often wonder how those who are slamming Botterill today will react if the Sabres are winning and he proves to be a successful GM.  It should prove to be an interesting experience. 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, LTS said:

The truth.

-------------------

These days I often wonder how those who are slamming Botterill today will react if the Sabres are winning and he proves to be a successful GM.  It should prove to be an interesting experience. 

 

I'd welcome the Sabres actually winning games even though I think he sucks. There would certainly be no less backtracking needed than the scores of schadenfreuders who declared Botterill as some genius when the Sabres had their winning streak and the O'Reilly led Blues were at the bottom of the standings.

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2 hours ago, darksabre said:

It's really too soon for any reasonable person to have a strong feeling one way or another. 

You sound like one of those undecided voters who still can't make up his mind in October despite watching a half dozen debates and being exposed to umpteen hours of political ads.

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6 minutes ago, Drunkard said:

You sound like one of those undecided voters who still can't make up his mind in October despite watching a half dozen debates and being exposed to umpteen hours of political ads.

Yeah, or just someone who has been scrutinizing the daylights out of this stuff for a dozen years and recognizes the general order of things.

If you have a strong opinion of Botterill right now you probably just need to calm down.

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7 minutes ago, darksabre said:

Yeah, or just someone who has been scrutinizing the daylights out of this stuff for a dozen years and recognizes the general order of things.

If you have a strong opinion of Botterill right now you probably just need to calm down.


Where's the fun in that? If everyone was calm and rational and we waited until the dust settled on everything to make a judgement call there'd be no need to even have a discussion at that point.

Although I'm sure the conversation would be absolutely riveting as we all calmly and rational discussed the decisions of the 2013 draft six seasons and two GM's later because it's just too soon to discuss anything more recent than that. That 6th round draft pick might actually be ready to contribute now so we'd have to re-evaluate all the metrics.

Edited by Drunkard

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2 minutes ago, Drunkard said:


Where's the fun in that? If everyone was calm and rational and we waited until the dust settled on everything to make a judgement call there'd be no need to even have a discussion at that point.

Although I'm sure the conversation would be absolutely riveting as we all calmly and rational discussed the decisions of the 2013 draft six seasons and two GM's later because it's just too soon to discuss anything more recent than that.

If folding your hand before the flop is fun then, well, have fun with that I guess.

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2 minutes ago, darksabre said:

If folding your hand before the flop is fun then, well, have fun with that I guess.

You're welcome at my poker table anytime.  You can have all the fun you want; but it's going to cost you.

In any event, I agreed above that it's premature to come to any strong conclusion.

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