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Sabres Announce GM Jason Botterill has been Fired. Kevyn Adams Named GM

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2 minutes ago, LTS said:

So, if you are feeling burned by the "experienced" hockey people, it's unlikely they were going to hire one who might come in and tell them to hire even more people who won't do anything or whose workloads will be a bit too light.

The outside company has a vested interest because they probably want a good review and recommendation from the Pegulas.  Perhaps there is more business at stake in other areas with the Pegulas, perhaps other opportunities within hockey.  Let's say it works out, people will want to know who that outside consulting group was and how they can bring them in.  

There's a lot of interest in getting it right.  It's not like consultants make their money on a single job.

I don’t think it was a paid outside consulting group. I thought it was just someone from the NHL offices?   Maybe I’m wrong 

Edited by LabattBlue

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5 minutes ago, LabattBlue said:

I don’t think it was a paid outside consulting group. I thought it was just someone from the NHL offices?   Maybe I’m wrong 

My impression was that it was an outside consultant who came in and evaluated their organizational structure and practices.  Not the NHL offices.

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

the timing of the "lengthy and thorough investigation/review of the organization" - if this review was before her statement then it spells a communication problem with the Pegula's.  If the review was after the statement then it was not lengthy (and maybe not thorough) and yet another reactive move where I wonder who they trust and why?   (side note:  I am reading about outside independent consultants.  That is what I do for a living.  You get called when leadership perceives a problem.  Telling them all is good will never get you another gig.)

If you look at what dudacek said, I could envision a timeline like this: 

  • After a season behind the bench, RFK has suggested some changes to improve things. 
  • JBot thinks it's all good so he does nothing, prompting Kruger to go to Kim with his concerns.
  • Adams ordered by Kim to do an independent, bottoms up review of the organization.  (independent, meaning neither Kruger nor JBot are involved in the recommendations).
  • Knowing how the coming bloodbath will look, Kim endorse's JBot's tenure to give him cover.
  • JBot, seeing how many of "his" people are being purged, balks at the cuts.
  • A few weeks of wrangling leads to an impasse so Kim pulls the trigger.

This would be consistent with the criticism that JBot had no empathy with the fans.  The problem with, he had no empathy, and could not reach consensus, with his coworkers.  If this is anywhere close to what happened, the Sabres clearly made the right choice.

Edited by Doohickie
Then again, maybe it's just fan fiction.

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9 minutes ago, Curt said:

My impression was that it was an outside consultant who came in and evaluated their organizational structure and practices.  Not the NHL offices.

This is what I perceived as well from Friedman’s initial report. It has also been made very clear from subsequent Friedman reports and Lysowski’s report and Adams’ dodging that Adams was reviewing the hockey department.

It is also being reported, again by Friedman, but I think others as well, that Kim and Terry feel they got bad advice when it came to previous hires. It was widely reported at the time that the NHL was heavily involved in the hiring process that led to Botterill being hired. Pretty easy to connect those dots.

Perhaps these multiple elements are being confused?

Edited by dudacek
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1 hour ago, Curt said:

I thought it was an external review, no?

External perhaps, as in no one from hockey ops, particularly not the GM, not the coach.  If there were niggling disagreements between the two men, the review may have simply been Kim's tool to settle them once and for all so they could move forward.  JBot did not comply so that's that.

Edited by Doohickie

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7 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

If you look at what dudacek said, I could envision a timeline like this: 

  • After a season behind the bench, RFK has suggested some changes to improve things. 
  • JBot thinks it's all good so he does nothing, prompting Kruger to go to Kim with his concerns.
  • Adams ordered by Kim to do an independent, bottoms up review of the organization.  (independent, meaning neither Kruger nor JBot are involved in the recommendations).
  • Knowing how the coming bloodbath will look, Kim endorse's JBot's tenure to give him cover.
  • JBot, seeing how many of "his" people are being purged, balks at the cuts.
  • A few weeks of wrangling leads to an impasse so Kim pulls the trigger.

This would be consistent with the criticism that JBot had no empathy with the fans.  The problem with, he had no empathy, and could not reach consensus, with his coworkers.  If this is anywhere close to what happened, the Sabres clearly made the right choice.

Two things:

Adams was clearly delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the season: he was assigned to be Botterill’s alternate at the board of governors and travelling with the team. Eyebrows were raised.

Why do you think Ralph had concerns, or went over JBot’s head with them?

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1 minute ago, dudacek said:

Two things:

Adams was clearly delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the season: he was assigned to be Botterill’s alternate at the board of governors and travelling with the team. Eyebrows were raised.

Why do you think Ralph had concerns, or went over JBot’s head with them?

I have 2 questions that I wish I had answers to. 

Did Ralph want Mitts sent down and for how long before it happened?

Did Ralph want Frolic or did that idea originate with Botterill?

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1 minute ago, Doohickie said:

External, as in no one from hockey ops, particularly not the GM, not the coach.  If there were niggling disagreements between the two men, the review may have simply been Kim's tool to settle them once and for all so they could move forward.  JBot did not comply so that's that.

My impression was that it was external, as in, from outside the organization.

Where is this stuff about a disagreement between Botterill and Krueger being a main catalyst for all of this coming from???

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5 minutes ago, dudacek said:

Adams was clearly delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the season: he was assigned to be Botterill’s alternate at the board of governors and travelling with the team. Eyebrows were raised.

Why do you think Ralph had concerns, or went over JBot’s head with them?

Maybe Adams delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the seasons was part of the independent review.  He wasn't part of the hockey department, he was observing it.  The fact that he was evaluating was not revealed because they wanted to simply see what was going on and didn't want the parties to change their dynamics.

I'm inferring it from the fact that the independent review happened, and the way things turned out.  I don't see a prior cause.  Maybe he didn't even formally go to the Pegulas, maybe they just sensed that while they were on the same page most of the time, they could see some disagreement and wanted to set a clear vision without playing favorites to one man or the other.

Edited by Doohickie

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6 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Maybe Adams delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the seasons was part of the independent review. 

I'm inferring it from the fact that the independent review happened, and the way things turned out.  I don't see a prior cause.

Your first line is plausible for sure.

But I don’t think friction between Botterill/Krueger was a major factor here.  I think the review happened and one of the major takeaways was Yes, we can cut some people and replace these others who we think aren’t working well for us.  Then Botterill was kind of balking at firing so many of his people.  Eventually the Pegulas and Botterill could not get on the same page about how to move forward, and he was let go.  Then they made all the cuts/changes that they wanted to.

Edited by Curt
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6 minutes ago, Doohickie said:

Maybe Adams delving into the hockey department prior to the end of the seasons was part of the independent review.  He wasn't part of the hockey department, he was observing it.  The fact that he was evaluating was not revealed because they wanted to simply see what was going on and didn't want the parties to change their dynamics.

I'm inferring it from the fact that the independent review happened, and the way things turned out.  I don't see a prior cause.  Maybe he didn't even formally go to the Pegulas, maybe they just sensed that while they were on the same page most of the time, they could see some disagreement and wanted to set a clear vision without playing favorites to one man or the other.

You don’t think the continued disappointments on the ice warranted an owner-mandated review, in and of themselves?

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Yes, perhaps you're right, Curt.  I probably over-speculated there.  Time to back that out of my narrative  ?

1 minute ago, dudacek said:

You don’t think the continued disappointments on the ice warranted an owner-mandated review, in and of themselves?

Maybe they did.  Let's back the "Kruger went over JBot's head" part out of my post.

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1 hour ago, Curt said:

Your first line is plausible for sure.

But I don’t think friction between Botterill/Krueger was a major factor here.  I think the review happened and one of the major takeaways was Yes, we can cut some people and replace these others who we think aren’t working well for us.  Then Botterill was kind of balking at firing so many of his people.  Eventually the Pegulas and Botterill could not get on the same page about how to move forward, and he was let go.  Then they made all the cuts/changes that they wanted to.

So the Pegula's were clearly wrong to endorse him 3 weeks ago if all this "independent review" stuff was happening and her "candid conversations" had not happened.  It sounds like the results of the review had not been digested and put into a plan forward strategy. 

I do this kind of work for a living.  I have never seen Corporate Exec's acts so carelessly as to tell their reporting chain one thing (in Kim's case the AP), and then come up another story a few weeks later.   It would get most Exec's fired.  Of course Kim does not have to worry about that, the buck stops with her, but it says a lot about her experience and her leadership.

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

So the Pegula's were clearly wrong to endorse him 3 weeks ago if all this "independent review" stuff was happening and her "candid conversations" had not happened.  It sounds like the results of the review had not been digested and put into a plan forward strategy. 

I do this kind of work for a living.  I have never seen Corporate Exec's acts so carelessly as to tell their reporting chain one thing (in Kim's case the AP), and then come up another story a few weeks later.   It would get most Exec's fired.  Of course Kim does not have to worry about that, the buck stops with her, but it says a lot about her experience and her leadership.

Absolutely.  They are consistently tone deaf in how they come across with the media and fans.  A PR nightmare.

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4 hours ago, dudacek said:

One of Botterill’s most make-you-want-to-throw-things-at-the-radio qualities was his complete lack of empathy for the fans and what we are feeling. He was the epitome of an ivory tower leader, at least in his public persona.

Kevin is definitely aware of that lack of connection and seems prepared to work very hard to be more of a man of the people.

Botterill's finest fan moment was that video of that fan yelling at him about signing Skinner and him yelling back, "we'll get it done!"

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1 hour ago, Pimlach said:

So the Pegula's were clearly wrong to endorse him 3 weeks ago if all this "independent review" stuff was happening and her "candid conversations" had not happened.  It sounds like the results of the review had not been digested and put into a plan forward strategy. 

I do this kind of work for a living.  I have never seen Corporate Exec's acts so carelessly as to tell their reporting chain one thing (in Kim's case the AP), and then come up another story a few weeks later.   It would get most Exec's fired.  Of course Kim does not have to worry about that, the buck stops with her, but it says a lot about her experience and her leadership.

Pretend you "do this kind of work for a living" for the Sabres.  Your hockey team is losing.  You're aware the GM and hockey department are under scrutiny from the fans.  You're aware that they are undergoing review by the ownership, but it is not yet complete.  The Associated Press asks the ownership very directly if the GM is returning next year.  Any response: positive, negative, and even a non-response will be published as a response.

What do you tell the owner to say?

@john wawrow : What would you expect an owner to say?

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5 hours ago, IKnowPhysics said:

Pretend you "do this kind of work for a living" for the Sabres.  Your hockey team is losing.  You're aware the GM and hockey department are under scrutiny from the fans.  You're aware that they are undergoing review by the ownership, but it is not yet complete.  The Associated Press asks the ownership very directly if the GM is returning next year.  Any response: positive, negative, and even a non-response will be published as a response.

What do you tell the owner to say?

@john wawrow : What would you expect an owner to say?

The truth.  
 

1. If he is safe say it.  But only if he is. 
2.  If you are evaluating; say it. Say “we will evaluate everything  when the off season starts“.  Then do it fairly.  If you think he has a good chance then be positive about any progress made.   Positive, not cryptic.  
3.  If your going to release him say  “we will evaluate after the season ends.”  Nothing more.  Done. Or don’t make yourself available to the AP to begin with.  

 

People respond better to bad news when it is delivered honestly and fairly. People deserve that.  This will serve well in building a good reputation around the league.  Which I doubt she has right now. 

Edited by Pimlach
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And then also trotted him out there for the end of season press conference. Not cool.

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10 hours ago, JimS said:

And then also trotted him out there for the end of season press conference. Not cool.

The only thing that would make sense is that the Pegulas were going to purge those other positions. They told Botterill to do it . He knowing he was not going to be around after this coming season told ownership no to the purging and they then fired him. I think the Pegulas were going to keep Botterill for one more year but that was all. When Botterill refused the purge then they fired him. Decision was after the end of year presser by Botterill.

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6 hours ago, Radar said:

The only thing that would make sense is that the Pegulas were going to purge those other positions. They told Botterill to do it . He knowing he was not going to be around after this coming season told ownership no to the purging and they then fired him. I think the Pegulas were going to keep Botterill for one more year but that was all. When Botterill refused the purge then they fired him. Decision was after the end of year presser by Botterill.

You are probably correct on the timeline and all but if you are in a NHL Hockey operations job what are you thinking about the goings’ on in Buffalo.  
 

There are a lot of former Sabres Employees out there with stories. 

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6 hours ago, Radar said:

The only thing that would make sense is that the Pegulas were going to purge those other positions. They told Botterill to do it . He knowing he was not going to be around after this coming season told ownership no to the purging and they then fired him. I think the Pegulas were going to keep Botterill for one more year but that was all. When Botterill refused the purge then they fired him. Decision was after the end of year presser by Botterill.

I think that is more or less exactly how it played out.

The Pegulas wanted to retain Botterill as part of their cost saving plan.  Over the last 3 weeks they sat down to really dig into how to arrange things going forward.  They told Jason of the purge, and he refused.

I hated Botterill as GM, but I give him credit for standing up for himself and his staff in this manner.  He obviously realized that the Pegulas were turning the franchise into a joke show, making success on the ice that much more difficult, and Botterill didn't want to be a part of that.  Good on him.

Having said that, I'm still glad he's gone.  But in the wake of all the other changes, I don't think it really matters who the GM is going forward.

As I've written here many times in the last few days, I find myself hoping for an ownership change at this point.

Given that the Pegulas own the Bills, I don't think it's unrealistic to suggest they would sell the Sabres.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Kruppstahl said:

I think that is more or less exactly how it played out.

The Pegulas wanted to retain Botterill as part of their cost saving plan.  Over the last 3 weeks they sat down to really dig into how to arrange things going forward.  They told Jason of the purge, and he refused.

I hated Botterill as GM, but I give him credit for standing up for himself and his staff in this manner.  He obviously realized that the Pegulas were turning the franchise into a joke show, making success on the ice that much more difficult, and Botterill didn't want to be a part of that.  Good on him.

Having said that, I'm still glad he's gone.  But in the wake of all the other changes, I don't think it really matters who the GM is going forward.

As I've written here many times in the last few days, I find myself hoping for an ownership change at this point.

Given that the Pegulas own the Bills, I don't think it's unrealistic to suggest they would sell the Sabres.

 

 

As long as sell to another Buffalo-only owner. I never want our teams to move and any team sale strikes the fear of God into me.

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50 minutes ago, thewookie1 said:

As long as sell to another Buffalo-only owner. 

I'm thinking bake sale and a couple car washes.  We got this.

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I wonder how much money LQ and Dan DiPofi have and whether they and OSP would want to get back in the game. Tom could then say he saved the Buffalo Sabres twice.

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