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What you need to know about Sabres GM Jason Botterill

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber /

Jason Botterill has been hired as the new general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, the team announced on Thursday morning. 

Botterill will be formally introduced at 4 p.m., but here are some quick facts to know about Buffalo's new GM in the meantime.


He's been instrumental in building two Stanley Cup winners

In fact, Botterill is referred to in his bio on as a "key architect of the Penguins' 2009 and 2016 Stanley Cup championship titles." He was hired by Pittsburgh as Director of Hockey Operations prior to the 2007-08 season, promoted to Assistant General Manager prior to the 2009-10 season and promoted again to Associate General Manager in June 2014.

Prior to joining the Penguins, he worked for NHL Central Registry and spent a season as a scout for the Dallas Stars in 2006-07. He's been lauded while in Pittsburgh for his work with the salary cap, helping the team to retain stars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin while still complementing them with a roster capable of winning the Cup.

It's even been documented that when Botterill interviewed with the Penguins back in 2007, he came equipped with the parameters for a forward-thinking, cap-friendly contract extension for Ryan Whitney, which the club would later use to retain the former defenseman. 

Botterill has the education to back up his expertise: He received his MBA from the University of Michigan in 2007. But his experience is based as much in scouting as it is in contracts. Here's how he described his duties in an interview with back in 2011:

"My days aren't exactly the same day-in and day-out is probably the most exciting factor. One day it's dealing with an agent on contract negotiations and then next day it's dealing with a scout evaluating a player who might be able to help the Pittsburgh Penguins five or six years down the road. The fact that every day seems a little bit different is an exciting part of the job."


He's a former Sabre

Botterill played 36 games for the Sabres during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons, scoring eight points (3+5) along the way. He also played in 113 games - including three in the postseason - with the Rochester Americans through the 2004-05 season, when his career was cut short due to a concussion.

In total, Botterill played 88 NHL games for Dallas, Atlanta, Calgary and Buffalo, tallying 14 points (5+9).


He's young

At age 40, Botterill is the second-youngest general manager in the NHL. Arizona's John Chayka became the youngest general manager in League history when he was hired a year ago.

Botterill is also the third-youngest general manager in Sabres history. Gerry Meehan was 40 years and 90 days old when he was appointed as general manager on Dec. 1, 1986, while Darcy Regier was 40 years and 197 days old upon his appointment on June 11, 1997. Botterill turns 41 on May 19.


He's had success in the AHL, too 

In addition to his title with Pittsburgh, Botterill has served as general manager for the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins since the 2009-10 season.

The team has made the playoffs each year under Botterill in addition to grooming players who'd go on to contribute at the NHL level, including some you can watch in the Stanley Cup playoffs right now. That list that includes Jake Guentzel, Conor Sheary and Bryan Rust, to name a few.

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