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Why is Botterill still GM?

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From an excellent, and long, Q&A with Graham and Vogl on the Athletic:  https://theathletic.com/1760887/2020/04/20/live-qa-with-tim-graham-and-john-vogl-on-tuesday-4-21-from-1-2-p-m-et/

 

Quote

 

Q:  Has there been any mention of a Hockey “Czar” coming to Buffalo?

Graham:  Not that I have heard, but I do believe Jason Botterill is on thin ice.

Vogl:  I think the only way we see a change in structure is if the Pegulas move on from Botterill. While there were inner concerns about Botterill lacking a plan this season, there are no big signs a change at GM is coming

...

Q:  Hey Fellas, a lot of talk of cap space with the Sabres in the offseason but with the potential flat cap, loss in revenue this season, and potential loss in gate revenue to start next season...do you think we could see them not spend to the cap (or close to it), which has become normal practice under Pegula, as a cost savings measure?

Vogl:  They actually spent well over the cap this season, which is what led to the internal dissent over Botterill's perceived lack of a plan. Despite all of PSE's questionable decisions, I think Terry and Kim still want to win. I would figure they spend to the cap in an attempt to do it.

 

 

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Simply because there is no better alternative available right now.

With all the changes in the last few years I would be surprised if JBOT, or Ralph, go the boot any time soon.

 

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Interesting that Tim Graham says, over and over, that the internal worries for Jason are based on him "lacking a plan." That we were spending over the cap in real dollars to be so bad signifies to them a lack of a plan.

The SS consensus has been that there is a well-defined plan that's pretty easy to see, and the execution has been bad, leading to things like spending a bunch of money for a bad team. 

I feel like the latter is more damning of the GM than the former, in saying that he's bad at the functional part of his job versus just not having an optimal checklist, which he would in principle be competent at if he had. I'd be quicker to fire the second guy than the first. So I do think Jason gets another kick at the can

This probably doesn't make sense, I'm just going stir-crazy over here don't mind me

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1 minute ago, Randall Flagg said:

Interesting that Tim Graham says, over and over, that the internal worries for Jason are based on him "lacking a plan." That we were spending over the cap in real dollars to be so bad signifies to them a lack of a plan.

The SS consensus has been that there is a well-defined plan that's pretty easy to see, and the execution has been bad, leading to things like spending a bunch of money for a bad team. 

I feel like the latter is more damning of the GM than the former, in saying that he's bad at the functional part of his job versus just not having an optimal checklist, which he would in principle be competent at if he had. I'd be quicker to fire the second guy than the first. So I do think Jason gets another kick at the can

This probably doesn't make sense, I'm just going stir-crazy over here don't mind me

The thing is, if Botterill doesn't have a plan, then it's the Pegulas who signed off on that being fine. 

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11 minutes ago, darksabre said:

The thing is, if Botterill doesn't have a plan, then it's the Pegulas who signed off on that being fine. 

I find it strange that Graham said Jbot doesn’t have a plan.  Considering his history and analytical nature, I don’t think he uses the washroom without a plan.

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22 minutes ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

I find it strange that Graham said Jbot doesn’t have a plan.  Considering his history and analytical nature, I don’t think he uses the washroom without a plan.

I wondered about that as well.

Could it be an abbreviated statement? As in “he doesn’t appear to have a plan to fill the hole in centre ice” or “I don’t see a plan to effectively replace/upgrade Sobotka” or “was there no plan to maximize the glut of defenceman?” Or “what kind of plan involves spending $90 million in real money to miss the playoffs?”

Less “no plan” and more “no follow through on the plan”

We know Terry pays attention and asks questions. Maybe not seeing effective answers to those questions play out over the course of the season translates as “no plan.”

Edited by dudacek

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Or maybe plan is being used as a synonym for progress: one could reasonably expect the team to improve over the course of three years - “watch the plan unfold” so to speak. The fact that it hasn’t is what has turned me from a wait-and-see on Botterill to a he’s-not-getting-it-done.

I have called it bad execution, not lack of a plan, but Terry and Kim are maybe choosing a different phrase for the same thing.

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It's also possible Graham just wasn't being careful, unsuspecting of the dissection one part of one of his many sentences would endure 

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What does a "plan" even mean? Do people think he doesn't recognize the need for another center? His plan could be to get a very good center. Do people think a plan is getting player X from team Y by doing Z to be a plan? Because that takes two to tango. 

Not having a plan seems to be synonymous with not knowing where the weak spots are.

Having a plan and not being able to execute it, may or may not be an indictment of him. One would have to say more than "you figure it out" if he can't turn chicken ***** to chicken salad.

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11 minutes ago, Randall Flagg said:

It's also possible Graham just wasn't being careful, unsuspecting of the dissection one part of one of his many sentences would endure 

He has used it multiple times, and in the context of what the brass is feeling, as opposed to his interpretation of it,

I am probably paying too much attention to the words, when the spirit is more important: there is dissatisfaction/concern with the job Jason is doing, but not a sense that the axe is hanging over his head.

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1 hour ago, dudacek said:

He has used it multiple times, and in the context of what the brass is feeling, as opposed to his interpretation of it,

I am probably paying too much attention to the words, when the spirit is more important: there is dissatisfaction/concern with the job Jason is doing, but not a sense that the axe is hanging over his head.

There is a huge difference between disappointment and dissatisfaction.  If there isn’t an axe then it’s disappointment.  If the axe is being contemplated, then there is organizational dissatisfaction.  

If TP and KP really think there is no plan, then would boot him.

Edited by GASabresIUFAN

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3 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If TP and KP really think there is no plan, then would boot him.

My concern is that TP and/or KP wouldn't know a good plan if it bit them in the ass.

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21 hours ago, Tondas said:

My concern is that TP and/or KP wouldn't know a good plan if it bit them in the ass.

Send them on a cruise.  It seems that @inkman thinks they will then know all about ass biting.

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On 4/22/2020 at 4:15 PM, GASabresIUFAN said:

There is a huge difference between disappointment and dissatisfaction.  If there isn’t an axe then it’s disappointment.  If the axe is being contemplated, then there is organizational dissatisfaction.  

If TP and KP really think there is no plan, then would boot him.

The one thing we can count on Pegula to do is fire ANYONE once he loses faith in that person.

He's proved it too many times before in both organizations, and anything he says or does prior to the firing doesn't matter.

Once Pegula decides "that's it" Botterill will be gone.

The question is how close to the line is he, and what does he need to see to pull the trigger?

Can't imagine Botterill having a job in Buffalo beyond 1 more year, assuming he keeps it that long.

 

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1 minute ago, Kruppstahl said:

The one thing we can count on Pegula to do is fire ANYONE once he loses faith in that person.

He's proved it too many times before in both organizations, and anything he says or does prior to the firing doesn't matter.

Once Pegula decides "that's it" Botterill will be gone.

The question is how close to the line is he, and what does he need to see to pull the trigger?

Can't imagine Botterill having a job in Buffalo beyond 1 more year, assuming he keeps it that long.

 

If this team makes the playoffs next year Jbot isn't going anywhere.

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5 hours ago, GASabresIUFAN said:

If this team makes the playoffs next year Jbot isn't going anywhere.

And if I win Powerball I will buy the Coyotes and move them to Hartford as the new Whalers (which has just about the same chance of happening as this team ever making the playoffs under Botts much less next season).

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13 hours ago, sabremike said:

And if I win Powerball I will buy the Coyotes and move them to Hartford as the new Whalers (which has just about the same chance of happening as this team ever making the playoffs under Botts much less next season).

The probability of two independent events is the PA * PB.  So while the Sabres chance of a playoff berth under JB might be the same as your Powerball win, the owners would hardly allow a team back to the city of Hartford.   (Hartford - The Matt Ellis of former NHL cities).  Thus the probability of both occurring is lower than a playoff bid next season.   

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10 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

The probability of two independent events is the PA * PB.  So while the Sabres chance of a playoff berth under JB might be the same as your Powerball win, the owners would hardly allow a team back to the city of Hartford.   (Hartford - The Matt Ellis of former NHL cities).  Thus the probability of both occurring is lower than a playoff bid next season.   

YAY another person who buys the NHL's ***** propaganda about why they had to murder the Whalers :rolleyes: Don't think you'd like to know our fate if Botts traded Jack for whomever would be a modern day equivalent of John Cullen so yeah, you might want to slow your roll on that one.

 

Edited by sabremike

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4 hours ago, sabremike said:

YAY another person who buys the NHL's ***** propaganda about why they had to murder the Whalers :rolleyes: Don't think you'd like to know our fate if Botts traded Jack for whomever would be a modern day equivalent of John Cullen so yeah, you might want to slow your roll on that one.

 

Hartford is a small city/large town of less than 125k.   It could garner no fan support outside its own county, with surrounding areas fans of either the Bruins or the Rangers.  Outside of recent losing our scenario is nothing like the one that sent the Whale packing. 

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3 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

Hartford is a small city/large town of less than 125k.   It could garner no fan support outside its own county, with surrounding areas fans of either the Bruins or the Rangers.  Outside of recent losing our scenario is nothing like the one that sent the Whale packing. 

In the all too brief period where the team was good in the mid 80's the team certainly had support: when we won a playoff round (not a cup, not the conference, A SINGLE PLAYOFF ROUND) there was a goddamned parade held in the city with tens of thousands of people. Nearly 20 years later when Carolina won a cup their celebration was a few thousand people in a ***** parking lot. The team was purchased by Rich Gordon who proceeded to completely destroy the team by by running it in the most incompetent manner possible and destroying all the hard work Howard Baldwin did in making them so successful. The team being a punching bag/laughingstock is what killed them, not the nonsense about market size. If the Whalers had ever won a cup the number of rags and rooinz fans in CT would've fallen off a cliff. And as for you saying it can't happen here: what's the second fastest dying major city in America (that also lacks the well off areas of the suburbs of the fastest dying city)? 

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On 4/22/2020 at 7:17 PM, Tondas said:

My concern is that TP and/or KP wouldn't know a good plan if it bit them in the ass.

You're in Lincoln and you don't know football?  

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5 minutes ago, Eleven said:

??? The team was putrid in the mid-80s.  Missed the playoffs twice, and that was when 16 of 21 teams made it.

Did not happen in the mid-80s.  The last playoff round the team won in the 80s was in 1983.  The 1982-83 season.

Jesus Christ. We beat Quebec 3-0 in the 1986 first round and lost in 7 to eventual champions Montreal in 7 on an OT goal by Claude Lemieux at The Forum. The next season we won the Adams Division but lost to Quebec in the first round. The team would have one more winning season in our history (think it was 89-90 where we took the rooinz to 7 games) before the worst GM in the history of pro sports Ed Johnston killed the team dead with his idiocy. 

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29 minutes ago, sabremike said:

In the all too brief period where the team was good in the mid 80's the team certainly had support: when we won a playoff round (not a cup, not the conference, A SINGLE PLAYOFF ROUND) there was a goddamned parade held in the city with tens of thousands of people. Nearly 20 years later when Carolina won a cup their celebration was a few thousand people in a ***** parking lot. The team was purchased by Rich Gordon who proceeded to completely destroy the team by by running it in the most incompetent manner possible and destroying all the hard work Howard Baldwin did in making them so successful. The team being a punching bag/laughingstock is what killed them, not the nonsense about market size. If the Whalers had ever won a cup the number of rags and rooinz fans in CT would've fallen off a cliff. And as for you saying it can't happen here: what's the second fastest dying major city in America (that also lacks the well off areas of the suburbs of the fastest dying city)? 

Are you a Demographer whalermike?  Buffalo has lost roughly 2% of its population since the last census of 2010.  Too many cities in the rust belt to name losing population.   The proximity to Southern Ontario guarantees the subsistence of the organization. 

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Wow.  Not sure I've ever met a passionate Whalers fan before.

Fight the good fight, @sabremike!  Every minute, every day!

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9 minutes ago, Broken Ankles said:

Are you a Demographer whalermike?  Buffalo has lost roughly 2% of its population since the last census of 2010.  Too many cities in the rust belt to name losing population.   The proximity to Southern Ontario guarantees the subsistence of the organization. 

The proximity to Southern Ontario didn't prevent the team from nearly relocating two different times (early 90's if the new arena wasn't built, early 2000's if Gollisano didn't step in and save us). And according to Paul Weiland the % of ticket holders from Canada is roughly 13% so that isn't as big as you think. And as for demographics I have seen numerous articles on cities on the decline and they always mention Buffalo. But even if I were to concede the point it isn't dying rapidly it is still the second smallest market in the NHL, just ahead of Winnipeg. So yeah...

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