Botterill preparing for Expansion Draft

He's had talks with Vegas

Paul Hamilton
June 16, 2017 - 3:07 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Now that Jason Botterill has hired Phil Housley, he needs to turn his attention the many other things.

Teams must have their expansion lists finalized by Saturday when the trade and waiver freeze also takes place. Botterill said he's already laid the groundwork, “My dialogs with other GM's in preparation for the Expansion Draft and for the Draft and for free agency, I've felt very well prepared.”

The NHL has told teams not to announce any trades with Vegas until the expansion lists are in. Tim Murray had a deal in place with George McPhee, but Botterill will have to make his own deal, “I've had conversations with him and I think its a two step process. We feel comfortable with where we're at right now, but you never know, it could change in the next couple of hours or couple of days, but then there's the unknown because once you hand your list over, there's a whole another market that George is going to have at, but George has been very fair with us.”

I pressed Botterill asking him if he has something set with McPhee. The Sabres GM said, “I can't tell for sure. We've talked about different parameters and different possibilities, but its also very difficult for Las Vegas, they have 30 other teams giving them lists, so they can certainly make projections, but he's not going to be able to give final answers to most teams until he has all the information in front of him.”

Buffalo has the 8th overall pick in next Friday's NHL Draft and Botterill is ready for all scenario's, including trading the pick, “I think you always have to be open to it. My mindset, especially with a high pick is always just take the best player available.”

“I think drafting for position in hockey is so difficult. I think maybe it goes on more in other sports. We had discussions with other teams about moving up and moving back and I think because there is no set one or two players at the top of the draft, you have to be prepared for all outcomes.”

The Sabres have until June 30 before Cal Petersen becomes an unrestricted free agent. Botterill said, “We're looking to meet with him again next week and coming into the organization, I didn't have a strong relationship with Cal, but I've enjoyed our dialogs with him.”

“It's a situation in the CBA and he has that right, but through the whole process we've continued to have dialog with him. He has good relationships with the goalie developmental staff within our organization and we also think its a great fit here both in Buffalo and Rochester for him to achieve his NHL goals.”

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