Botterill only had one legitimate offer for Kane

Jason Botterill was not able to make any other trades before the deadline

Paul Hamilton
February 26, 2018 - 6:55 pm

Photo courtesy of @buffalosabres

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Sabres general manager Jason Botterill had quite a few discussions on trading Evander Kane, but in the end, he worked with the only solid offer he got. At no point in this process did Botterill receive an offer for a solid number one pick. He said, “We certainly had a lot of interest and a lot of discussion with different teams, the bottom line is we had one legitimate offer for Evander and that’s why we worked off of it with San Jose.

“It was a difficult market for rentals. We had a lot of conversations out there, there certainly was a lot of interest, but I think you saw with the rental market it was more of a difficult market than previous years.”

Even though Kane has done a lot of maturing in the past year, it seems like his past will always be held against him in the NHL. Botterill said it was talked about with teams, “When you’re looking to acquire a player, there are a lot of things that go into it. They certainly talked to us on a personal level about Evander, they talked about the scenario here in Buffalo.”

Botterill had initial talks with Kane’s agent, but it became pretty evident that the Sabres weren't going to re-sign him. Botterill rebuked a local published report that the Pegula’s were fed up with Kane and wanted him out. Botterill said the decision to trade Kane was his alone, “Zero from ownership. It was myself and the people that are in my management group made the decision.”

Botterill said Kane was not too negative to keep on the team. He said, “I’ve heard the rumors and some of the stuff out there and he handles himself well in how he interacted with us, but the bottom line is we’re working in a salary cap world, you understand what we have on the books for contracts that are still here, you understand what contracts are coming into the mix next year.

“You’ve also seen our mix on the ice and I’m not putting all the blame all on Evander Kane, there’s a lot of blame to go around, the coaching staff, management, players, we have to be better. The bottom line is the mix that we have right now is not working, so we had to make adjustments.”

“The bottom line is we felt that where we’re at as an organization, we had to make changes. The group that we have right now is not working.”

The Sabres had other unrestricted free agents on the roster, but none moved. Botterill said, “There were certainly discussions about other free agents, but we just didn’t have the offers.”

Botterill showed some anger in where the organization is at when he was asked about slamming the door and storming away after Los Angeles’ second goal on Feb. 17. Botterill said, “We’re not happy about where we are as an organization right now and I’ll be up front, the situation in the L.A. game…one of the biggest disappointments for me right now is our home record, it’s unacceptable and I was looking at that game very closely because that was a kids game. Remember what happened in our other kids game? It was the Dallas Stars game (7-1 loss), so you’re looking for a response, you’re looking for a performance and I understand where we are from a skill level sometimes and that’s on management to improve our skill level, but from a compete standpoint and preparation, we have to get better in those elements.”

Botterill sent Casey Nelson and Nick Baptiste to Rochester to make them eligible for the Calder Cup Playoffs. Both will be brought back up and be with the team in Tampa on Wednesday.

The other player acquired in the Kane deal, Danny O'Regan will report to Rochester.

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