Sabres President and co-owner Kim Pegula had said on the day the Sabres' season officially ended that Botterill would be the general manager heading into his fourth season in the league. That changed three weeks later when the team decided to move on from Botterill and promote Adams to general manager after serving as the team's Senior Vice President of Business Administration.
"Knowing next season wasn’t going to start on time, and that even the draft, usually held in June, was now going to be delayed, we decided to take this as an opportunity to change course," Pegula wrote. "A change in the GM position is never easy; continuity is often an advantage, particularly during these tumultuous times. But when the hockey gods give you the rare gift of time — to be thoughtful and truly evaluate what is and isn’t working — you can’t waste that gift...
"While I don’t want to get into the specifics of why we parted ways with GM Jason Botterill, the pandemic certainly added another layer of complexity to a results-oriented business. We didn’t get the results we wanted last year and we knew with the delay of the hockey season, the uncertainty of hosting fans and Buffalo being hit hard economically, we had to think differently in order to move forward."
One talking point for the Pegulas when they spoke of the organizational moves they made back on June 16 was the idea of trimming down and becoming more leaner on the hockey operations side of things. Pegula expanded on that point a bit more on Monday, saying that the hiring of Adams was the start of those moves and the start of the new direction they want to organization to take.
"We needed to better utilize our resources such as video and analytics. We needed to become leaner and more agile to meet the challenges we knew were coming," Pegula wrote. "We had already implemented salary reductions and furloughs throughout the rest of the organization in April and with the shortened season and uncertain future, the hockey department was not immune. In selecting Kevyn Adams as our new GM to replace Jason, and in an accompanying transformation to our hockey operations staff, we went with a different approach.
"As a former player, assistant coach and business administrator, Kevyn brought a diverse perspective and plan. Plus, as a current employee in our organization, we know who he is as a person. In many ways, he’s been on a nine-year interview. Will it work? Only time will tell. But during a crisis the team that can adapt, foresee the problems, and has a solid foundation to be agile gives itself the best chance of survival. Maybe this unexpected opportunity for transformation can give us just that.
In addition to these comments made by Pegula, she spent a lot of the column discussing the lessons she has learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and the George Floyd protests that have brought up several key issues in our society today.