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Rumor: About Botterill’s Future Being in Doubt


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1 minute ago, Hank said:

I think he has made a choice. I think he's embraced JKru's plan of a slow build from the bottom up, and I don't think it was an easy choice at all. 

Much harder to admit you f*cked up and hired the wrong guy.

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5 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I love when people are like damn, we could have had JT Compher right now! Like Murray didn't aquire a *better* centre in that trade. We'd have a much better team right now if Murray was still the GM. 

I don't even know if the plan can be construed as fine when it has lead to so many disastrous results. I don't think his timeline for success was a good one, and that's a big part of any plan. 

He's too frivolous with Jack's prime years. 

I think pegs pushed the timeline a couple years with his stipulations on the ROR trade (my opinion only, not looking to rehash it or try to change anyone's mind.)

1 minute ago, Thorny said:

Much harder to admit you f*cked up and hired the wrong guy.

He probably don't think he did, and I don't either. 

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2 hours ago, ... said:

I think it's more like:

Everyone hath a plan until they cut their own leg off with a chainthaw and then like a rat, they thop in fear and freethe.

This is excellent. 

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46 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I love when people are like damn, we could have had JT Compher right now! Like Murray didn't aquire a *better* centre in that trade. We'd have a much better team right now if Murray was still the GM. 

I don't even know if the plan can be construed as fine when it has lead to so many disastrous results. I don't think his timeline for success was a good one, and that's a big part of any plan. 

He's too frivolous with Jack's prime years. 

His plan, as @TrueBlueGED pointed out, was to be in the playoff mix this year.

The plan of strengthening the farm system and developing players “the right way” around Jack and Ras is a good one. The execution with Victor has been good, Nylander for Henri promising, Casey and Tage flawed, the rest too soon to tell.

The plan of getting a positive communicator preaching a high-tempo game built around a mobile blueline was good. The execution of hiring Phil Housley was bad.

The plan of cleaning out locker room morale-busters was good. The execution of dumping three core players and bringing in virtually no one to replace their on-ice contributions was bad

The plan of buy-low acquisitions from crowded or cap-strapped teams or underrated free agents was good.The execution of buying Beaulieu, Pouliot, Elie, Vesey, Miller, etc. was bad. The one exception, Skinner, appears poised to be wasted on a bad contract.

The plan of stocking up on mobile defencemen was good. The execution of using those acquisitions - as players, and as as assets - was bad.

The plan of bringing in good people as vets - like Hutton and Johansson - was good. The execution of using them to play roles above their capabilities was bad.

The plan of creating a blank salary cap canvas this summer on which to paint the finishing touches of his team was good. The execution of building a team ready to be finished was bad.

The plan is fine. It just needs someone who might be able to execute it.

Edited by dudacek
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Most of that plan is summed up with “build a good hockey team”. There’s almost nothing in that plan that wouldn’t be written into the basic requirements of the job. 

Buy low acquisitions is NOT a good plan if you can’t identify talent. The actual plan direction is faulty in that case. You shouldn’t be taking on players other teams have adjudged to be barely worth it if you have no experience building a roster. 

Stockpiling D also isn’t a good plan. The GM should have forseen it would be difficult to make a move when EVERYONE KNOWS YOU NEED TO NOW MAKE ONE. 

“Cleaning out moral busters” as a stated dimension of the plan also isn’t a good thing. The plan should have been to figure out WHY moral is low in these players and work to amend it (see - ROR).

His plan is rudimentary paint-by-numbers basics with, yes, horrible execution. 

Building a farm system, developing players the right way, focusing on strong communication (as opposed to, what, poor communication?)...these things aren’t a plan they are base level competence. 

Edited by Thorny
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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

His plan, as @TrueBlueGED pointed out, was to be in the playoff mix this year.

The plan of strengthening the farm system and developing players “the right way” around Jack and Ras is a good one. The execution with Victor has been good, Nylander for Henri promising, Casey and Tage flawed, the rest too soon to tell.

The plan of getting a positive communicator preaching a high-tempo game built around a mobile blueline was good. The execution of hiring Phil Housley was bad.

The plan of cleaning out locker room morale-busters was good. The execution of dumping three core players and bringing in virtually no one to replace their on-ice contributions was bad

The plan of buy-low acquisitions from crowded or cap-strapped teams or underrated free agents was good.The execution of buying Beaulieu, Pouliot, Elie, Vesey, Miller, etc. was bad. The one exception, Skinner, appears poised to be wasted on a bad contract.

The plan of stocking up on mobile defencemen was good. The execution of using those acquisitions - as players, and as as assets - was bad.

The plan of bringing in good people as vets - like Hutton and Johansson - was good. The execution of using them to play roles above their capabilities was bad.

The plan of creating a blank salary cap canvas this summer on which to paint the finishing touches of his team was good. The execution of building a team ready to be finished was bad.

The plan is fine. It just needs someone who might be able to execute it.

And the bolded leads to one of the biggest issues - timeline.

Pretty stupid plan when, even if that time line gets bumped back a SINGLE year, like was are seeing - since we didn't achieve "playoff mix", next year becomes "playoff mix" and we are in VERY REAL danger of hypothetical playoffs being the following year, Botterill's 5th. 5 years to make the playoffs - that would be a horrible plan. He left us an ever so slight margin of error from a laughable timeline, from conception. Brutal. 

After not reaching his goal of being "in the hunt" in his 3rd full season of GM, we are darn near seeing fan revolt. Perhaps that timeline was cutting things a little too close to that edge. 

The affect on Jack by stringing it out that long? Not to mention paying for this long-winded, job-security rooted plan in Jack's prime years?

It's just a bad plan from a GM who to this point has been bad. 

Edited by Thorny
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@Thorny After reading your posts, I'm not sure what you would consider a "good plan" and how that would be different from "baseline competence."

Reads to me to me like your basic point is "no plan is a good plan if you can't execute it properly."

Which makes any debate moot.

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Regardless of what his plan was, he should have adjusted it when his team showed it was potentially capable of more than expected.  For two years running:

1. The roster had glaring flaws to start the off-season.

2. At least one glaring hole was left completely unfilled after the off-season; moreover,  not enough pieces were added to ice an adequate team of 4 clear NHL centres, 8 functional NHL wingers, 3 competent pairs of NHL defencemen, and 2 passable NHL goaltenders when completely healthy.

3. The offence was compounded by not enhancing the roster in-season in a timely fashion; the help at the TDL was too little, too late.

4. There are not enough players in the system who, with ordinary luck for the Sabres, could be claimed would adequately fill all the roster issues with any kind of confidence.

Exactly what evidence is there that this offseason would be different?  I am a skeptic who wants to be convinced I am over-reacting.

Addendum: the more I criticise JNot, the less inclined I am to be overly critical of either Housley or Kreuger.  How sad is that?

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6 minutes ago, dudacek said:

@Thorny After reading your posts, I'm not sure what you would consider a "good plan" and how that would be different from "baseline competence."

Reads to me to me like your basic point is "no plan is a good plan if you can't execute it properly."

Which makes any debate moot.

Disagree.

I am not an NHL GM capable of putting together a nuanced plan. I don't have the money or the resources. 

What I am saying is that a "good plan" would be a plan that didn't wait until YEAR FOUR (presumably?) to install making the playoffs as a hard-line goal. 

The plan was bad from conception because the chosen timeline was bad. The execution then compounded everything. 

A plan to be competitive in less than 4 or 5 years. That to me would be a good plan, and I think, not too too much to ask for. That wasn't Botterill's plan. Botterill's plan was job security, and stretching out the timeline for making the playoffs to ridiculous proportions. 

Botterill's plan is Dylan Cozens and Rasmus Dahlin entering their prime. That's it. 

Edited by Thorny
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16 minutes ago, Thorny said:

I am not an NHL GM capable of putting together a nuanced plan. I don't have the money or the resources. 

What I am saying is that a "good plan" would be a plan that didn't wait until YEAR FOUR (presumably?) to install making the playoffs as a hard-line goal. 

The plan was bad from conception because the chosen timeline was bad. The execution then compounded everything. 

A plan to be competitive in less than 4 or 5 years. That to me would be a good plan, and I think, not too too much to ask for. 

(Nods head thoughtfully).

I think this gets to the nut of a lot of debates you and I have had on here.

I'm a child of Punch's original Sabres that started with nothing and turned into a contender in a slow, five-year climb and was content to view Botterill through that lens because it seemed to be the path he was following.

I think you're more a child of Darcy's Drury/Briere teams that started with something and burst from mediocre to awesome because a lot of pieces from a lot of sources came together at the same time. You have been discontent from nearly the beginning because that was not the path he was taking.

Now that it's clear Mittelstadt and Thompson aren't Robert and Martin, just like Vesey and Miller aren't Dumont and Numminen, we can all bash Jason together. ?

Edited by dudacek
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9 minutes ago, dudacek said:

(Nods head thoughtfully).

I think this gets to the nut of a lot of debates you and I have had on here.

I'm a child of Punch's original Sabres that started with nothing and turned into a contender in a slow, five-year climb and was content to view Botterill through that lens because it seemed to be the path he was following.

I think you're more a child of Darcy's Drury/Briere teams that started with something and burst from mediocre to awesome because a lot of pieces from a lot of sources came together at the same time. You have been discontent from nearly the beginning because that was not the path he was taking.

Now that it's clear Mittelstadt and Thompson aren't Robert and Martin, just like Vesey and Miller aren't Dumont and Numminen, we can all bash Jason together. ?

That’s fair. 

I will say I was good with a meticulous rebuild when I thought it could be something reasonable like 3 years. That seemed long yet fair. Possible in today’s cap age, definitely. 

Yet here we are.

And as you say, now merged. 

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I don't think a man can stumble into an NHL GM position with a plan that isn't by all accounts reasonable 

Jason has just never had remotely inspiring execution 

If you were to lay out the details of these three seasons to fans and to Jason in June of 2017, not a single fan, not Jason himself, would say that this is what should be expected and described as successful. If you did the same thing for each of these three seasons individually to both groups at the beginning of each one, or during the offseason before each one, both groups would have at the time uniformly called all of them failures. 

It's been three years of whiffs whose consequences would be accurately forecasted every single time by the average internet poster 

 

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11 minutes ago, dudacek said:

(Nods head thoughtfully).

I think this gets to the nut of a lot of debates you and I have had on here.

I'm a child of Punch's original Sabres that started with nothing and turned into a contender in a slow, five-year climb and was content to view Botterill through that lens because it seemed to be the path he was following.

I think you're more a child of Darcy's Drury/Briere teams that started with something and burst from mediocre to awesome because a lot of pieces from a lot of sources came together at the same time. You have been discontent from nearly the beginning because that was not the path he was taking.

Now that it's clear Mittelstadt and Thompson aren't Robert and Martin, just like Vesey and Miller aren't Dumont and Numminen, we can all bash Jason together. ?

So am I, so take stock of where we are at realistically.

If Jack is Perreault, Sam isn't Martin, but I will let you argue he's Robert. So Olofsson as Martin? Not really, but he can shoot so I will be generous and say close enough I guess.

Skinner? Not as good as Gare. So Cozens? 

Ramsey and Luce, definitely not on the roster.

 Dudley. Definitely not on the roster.

maybe Simmonds can be Spencer now idk but we really don't have what that 3rd line was either. Mitts is Peter McNab? No, don't think so. 

Risto is.......Schoenfeld? Not imo but he did wander a little so the comparison isn't completely invalid. Jim was a leader though. Solid team guy that elevated the rest, we could use that guy too. Who's Korab? McCabe? No. and we definitely don't have a reliable Bill Hajt type. Dahlin's the wild card. Still remains to be seen what he becomes, but the D on that team (build for it's era) was better than the D we have (built for this era).

Goaltending on those teams marginally better but was a weakness so call it a wash.

You can rearrange pieces here and a few bodies changed year to year but I'm seeing some pretty big holes on our roster compared to those teams, even if you allow an even comparison between our current top line and the FC - which is actually quite a stretch, as the FC was much better in reality.

If you can find a way to add a modern day PK tandem like Luce/Ramsey, add a guy or two like Dudley, a few more reliable D men and a solid goalie, we might have a team. Now how you getting all that for a 5 year plan???

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44 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

If you can find a way to add a modern day PK tandem like Luce/Ramsey, add a guy or two like Dudley, a few more reliable D men and a solid goalie, we might have a team. Now how you getting all that for a 5 year plan???

I'm not sure if you are asking me a question, or not.

But as long as you recognize that:

a) the players below aren't going to necessarily line up stylistically; it's as much of a pecking order thing as it is a role thing

b) I'm talking about Jason's projections, not my personal point of view

c) Jason was wrong in his projections

This could be kinda fun.

 

Here is a loose roadmap to what could have been Botterill's five-year plan for developing a 7-forward/four defence core

1) Perreault/Eichel

2) Martin/Mittelstadt Luce/Reinhart Ramsay/Skinner

3) Schoenfeld/Ristolainen Robert/Thompson

4) Dudley/Johansson Korab/Montour Guevremont/Dahlin

5) Gare/Cozens Hajt/Jokiharju (then substitute the Veseys and the Kahuns for the Stanfields and McNabs.)

Remember, Punch was drafting 20-year-olds for a bigger, tougher league. Of course it's a joke to look at Mittelstadt as a Martin comparable now, but two years ago he was being called the best player outside the NHL. Robert was no more acclaimed than Thompson when he was acquired.

Punch picked the right players. Jason did not.

 

Edited by dudacek
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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

(Nods head thoughtfully).

I think this gets to the nut of a lot of debates you and I have had on here.

I'm a child of Punch's original Sabres that started with nothing and turned into a contender in a slow, five-year climb and was content to view Botterill through that lens because it seemed to be the path he was following.

I think you're more a child of Darcy's Drury/Briere teams that started with something and burst from mediocre to awesome because a lot of pieces from a lot of sources came together at the same time. You have been discontent from nearly the beginning because that was not the path he was taking.

Now that it's clear Mittelstadt and Thompson aren't Robert and Martin, just like Vesey and Miller aren't Dumont and Numminen, we can all bash Jason together. ?

The flaw in this analogy is that Punch started from scratch with the luck of the roulette wheel landed a cornerstone. But he consistently tinkered making positive moves.  Botts was handed a solid hand that the moment the lotto balls dropped, should have killed any notion of waiting to fix the goaltending or adding to the forwards.  That core, Eichel, ROR, Sam, Dahlin Risto Ulmark with the compliment of LOG was enough base to tweak into a playoff team.  No excuses. He doesn’t know how to build a synergistic roster.  He doesn’t know talent. And his negotiating skills seem lacking based on things like the sheary deal and trading a division rival a higher pick for a lower one in the same round for nothing in return. I still smh at that one.

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3 hours ago, dudacek said:

Punch picked the right players. Jason did not.

Not sure yet as a whole on draft picks. Certainly he's failed in trades. Only the Jokiharju trade is one in our favor.It's fair to say Murray picked the wrong players. Some of Jason's might still be right in the long run, but that's not a defense of him. He has failed in too many ways to stay imo.

I know you're not suggesting they are equals, but Mitts/Martin, Thompson/Robert, some of them are really really off.

Anyway, he's got to go, that's it. 

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Botterill has to go. He's had 3 years and literally built nothing. 

I’m tired of being embarrassed by this team. The only f*cking thing we had to root for this year is Eichel’s individual season (it IS an entertainment product), it’s SOMETHING to be proud of, honestly. And we don’t even have that anymore, it’s not possible, because we spend the first 75% of the year running him into the ground/he checks out by this time because we are out of it. 

I’m not spending the offseason arguing online, and on twitter and the like about how Eichel is actually a top player in the game like a dumbass after he notches another 80 odd points. 

Can’t build a playoff competitive team. Can’t even facilitate one individual player. F*ck off Sabres. Do SOMETHING right. 

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2 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Botterill has to go. He's had 3 years and literally built nothing. 

But Sam has to stay right? Cause he's done so much in these meaningful games...........

Don't get me wrong, JBot has to go, but nobody's going to build a winner around Skinner and Reinhart. 

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27 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

But Sam has to stay right? Cause he's done so much in these meaningful games...........

Don't get me wrong, JBot has to go, but nobody's going to build a winner around Skinner and Reinhart. 

Were these games more meaningful than the games between New Year’s and the All-Star break, when the Sabres had just come off a rotten December and their season was on the line for the first time?

I don’t remember you posting then about how he stepped up then with 4 goals and 5 assists in 7 games to help bring back hope.

You aren’t posting now about Jack being pointless in his last four with the season on the line, or Victor in his last 6, or Rasmus Dahlin in his last five as proof that nobody is going to build a winner around them.

You don’t like Sam Reinhart. We get it.

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46 minutes ago, PerreaultForever said:

I know you're not suggesting they are equals, but Mitts/Martin, Thompson/Robert, some of them are really really off.

The comparison is that Martin and Mittelstadt we’re both high draft picks touted to have real first line potential when we got them, and Thompson and Robert were less touted offensively-skilled trade acquisition that were thought to have some top 6 potential as scorers if they developed properly.

Robert and Martin both exceeded expectations, Thompson and Mittelstadt have failed spectacularly, at least so far.

Did you know that Rene was a good minor leaguer scorer for three years before finally cracking the big leagues in his 4th year pro, and that he had only put up 7 goals and 18 points in 54 NHL games as a 23-year-old when we acquired him?

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4 hours ago, LGR4GM said:

Botterill has to go. He's had 3 years and literally built nothing. 

They're a few pieces away, but I'm not sure I trust him to fill those holes.    Get rid of him, fine.  But don't go and blow it all up in the process. 

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

Were these games more meaningful than the games between New Year’s and the All-Star break, when the Sabres had just come off a rotten December and their season was on the line for the first time?

I don’t remember you posting then about how he stepped up then with 4 goals and 5 assists in 7 games to help bring back hope.

You aren’t posting now about Jack being pointless in his last four with the season on the line, or Victor in his last 6, or Rasmus Dahlin in his last five as proof that nobody is going to build a winner around them.

You don’t like Sam Reinhart. We get it.

Actually, if you check the game threads back then I said at the time Sam surprised me and words similar to - maybe he's finally stepping it up and becoming who we hoped he'd be, but that idea faded fast. It was just a small blip in the big picture. I praise anybody who earns it. 

See you bypassed the Draisaitl comparison pi2000 made. When McDavid was out of the lineup he stepped it up and carried them. Now Jack is semi injured or slumping or tired (whatever it is) and Sam has not stepped it up to carry us. That's the difference, that's why we won't win with him as a core piece. 

Game in game out here in the "meaningful" games his play proves my point but you don't want to see it. You make excuses and allowances. Maybe that's the real problem with Buffalo, and why we don't get any better. Excuses are allowed, encouraged even, and the bar is set barely above the ground. When so called star players don't step up they have to be held accountable, not made excuses for. 

51 minutes ago, pi2000 said:

They're a few pieces away, but I'm not sure I trust him to fill those holes.    Get rid of him, fine.  But don't go and blow it all up in the process. 

define a "few."

I think we need about 6 or 7, and that's a lot. 

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6 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

But Sam has to stay right? Cause he's done so much in these meaningful games...........

Don't get me wrong, JBot has to go, but nobody's going to build a winner around Skinner and Reinhart. 

Sam really does live rent free in your head. I didn't even mention him and you're trying to put words in my mouth. We all get it, you want Reinhart gone and don't like him. We get it. 

3 hours ago, PerreaultForever said:

Actually, if you check the game threads back then I said at the time Sam surprised me and words similar to - maybe he's finally stepping it up and becoming who we hoped he'd be, but that idea faded fast. It was just a small blip in the big picture. I praise anybody who earns it. 

See you bypassed the Draisaitl comparison pi2000 made. When McDavid was out of the lineup he stepped it up and carried them. Now Jack is semi injured or slumping or tired (whatever it is) and Sam has not stepped it up to carry us. That's the difference, that's why we won't win with him as a core piece. 

Game in game out here in the "meaningful" games his play proves my point but you don't want to see it. You make excuses and allowances. Maybe that's the real problem with Buffalo, and why we don't get any better. Excuses are allowed, encouraged even, and the bar is set barely above the ground. When so called star players don't step up they have to be held accountable, not made excuses for. 

define a "few."

I think we need about 6 or 7, and that's a lot. 

Or maybe this is a thread about the gm and ppl are tired and annoyed at you trying to turn it into another Reinhart sucks bitch fest because he's not as good as Draisaitl?

No one thinks he's as good as Draisaitl. No one. Reinhart isn't a star player. He's a very good player. 

Now, can we talk about how the gm has failed to build a team?

Edited by LGR4GM
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