Pegulas confident Kevyn Adams will be one to right the ship

"We're going to continue to try and get us to where we need to be."

Brendan Keany
June 16, 2020 - 3:48 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN) - In a shocking Tuesday morning development, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had relieved former General Manager Jason Botterill of his duties and promoted in-house hire Kevyn Adams to the position.

Not only did the news come out of nowhere, the announcement was just several weeks removed from a public nod of confidence in Botterill by Kim Pegula, saying that he would be back for his fourth season.

Terry and Kim, along with Head Coach Ralph Krueger and Adams, held a Zoom press conference Tuesday afternoon to make the introduction official.

The first question asked of the owners from AP reporter John Wawrow: why the sudden change of heart?

"When I talked to you three weeks ago, certainly that was our intent that Jason was going to continue..." Kim Pegula began. "If you recall at that time, we had just found out that the regular season had ended, and then in the next three weeks, especially with the announcement of the draft being pushed back to some time this fall, it gave us a little bit more time to really start digging in to say, 'Okay, what does the future look like? Let's start looking and planning for the future,' and I think that's what changed in those three weeks."

Terry added to Kim's statement, saying there was a divide in terms of philosophy.

"When we were in detailed discussions with Jason on how we felt we needed to move forward in effectively, efficiently and economically running this franchise, we felt that there were too many differences in opinion going into the future that we just thought, since we had more time, that it would be best for us to make this change," he said. "We had Kevyn in mind very recently only because we know him over nine years. He has handled, very admirably, any job we've given him. (He's) loyal, communicative, and we just feel that it's a better place for us to be with Kevyn as our GM."

Kim was then asked why any Sabres fan should trust her decisions moving forward, especially when reviewing the total lack of organizational success during the Pegulas' tenure as owners.

"We are going to keep trying," said Kim. "The Sabres have been a love of ours for a long time, Terry even more so, and this is something that we're very passionate about, and we're not going to sit there and keep saying, 'You know what, we tried it this way and it didn't work, so let's not try anymore.'"

"On the Bills side, it took us several times there - we feel like right now we've got the right people," she continued. "We're going to keep trying...we feel like Kevyn is the right person, and we felt like, at the time we made those other decisions, whether it was leadership, whether it was coaches or GM's, we felt at that time, that they were the right person for the organization, and that doesn't always pan out the way it's supposed to, but I will tell you guys and the community that we're going to continue to try and get us to where we need to be."

The last time the Sabres made the playoff was 2011, and the last time the franchise won a playoff series was 2007. Having not made the extended portion of this Covid-19 shortened season in which 24 teams were selected to advance, many Sabres fans are simply fed up with the lack of success. Adams was asked about his vision for the organization and whether the pieces are there in the current group to escape the cycle of mediocrity.

"As we talked about, it's a few hours into the job, so we haven't been able to go through the entire roster step by step here and discuss the pieces," said Adams. "But I will say this: I've heard Ralph say it, and he's said it to me, he feels this is a team of players that buys in...and now it's up to us to collaboratively look into it - where can we improve?"

And they'll certainly have a long time off to figure it out...

Listen to the full press conference below:

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