5-11 Jason Botterill Press Conference.mp3

Sabres Hockey
Thursday, May 11th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good afternoon everyone thanks for coming down to before we begin we just want her mind up and put their cell phones on silent. Typical is gonna get a few statements followed by AIG Sinatra. Following now have a brief. Q&A session dealing Chris we'll have the microphones so when you ask your questions please state your name affiliations are the guys know we are. Without further do. Sabres owner Terry for the. Pleasure. All the way there this morning at 10 AM we announce that our search for the new GM of the Buffalo Sabres has concluded. With the selection of Jason not prone to lead us into the future. Jason has a knowledgeable hockey veteran. Who has been involved in the game plain. Evaluating. Drafting and developing. And also managing. And molding players and to a team and an organization. In his personal life. He's won three world junior gold medals. 9495. And 96. He's a first round pick in the NHL draft. NCAA champion Michigan 1996. Economics degree. Calder cup champion 2001. Started with Dallas 2006. Director of hockey administration for Pittsburgh in 2007. That assistant GM and 2009. Associate GM in 2014. So. He's been around some winning organizations. And has been a winner himself. As a matter of fact he comes multifamily wonders is the demonstrated. Buy it accomplishments of his sister in the Olympics so. Without further ado. Let me introduce to you. Our new GM Jason. Thank you very much. It's truly an honor to be here today. I've just like does that stand start off with some think his. Like to begin with thank you to write Terry can go. For this opportunity. And also like to thank the entire sabres organization for such a warm welcome today thank you very much. At this time I'd also like to think. Ron. Ron Burkle and Maryland new with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I've had an amazing ten years with them. They're nothing but a first class organization. They are the reason why the penguins are competitive year in year out. Most importantly. I like to think my weight Andrea and her kids for the sacrifice. And set and support over the last few years. I also believe. That we are as good as our mentors. And I was very fortunate to have three great mentors and the time of the penguins. From day one of join their organization they brought me intent. Every aspect of these. Hockey business. And allowed me to be prepared for take on this role here today. So I like to think chuck Fletcher. Reassure and Jim Rutherford. Today is truly dream come true for myself. I am truly honored to be peace general manager of this. Of the Buffalo Sabres and this proud organization. I'm excited. About being in this organization. The next level. When the main reasons why you accepted this role and wanted to take on this job. It was because I truly understand my time as a player here in Western New York. Both in Rochester and buffalo how passionate and loyal. The fans in this region arm towards game hockey. I know that they deserve success. And my jobless try to bring an organization that provides up to him. During my time in the organization here. I mean I've learned the importance of what the local means to our fans. And from my standpoint my job will make sure that every player every staff member understands the significance. Of wearing. The sabres Longo who do Cameron righteous Americans love. I'm committed to building an organization great way. With hard work. Commitment to each other on and off the ice. Structure will be very important to us. At least success. Comes from structure. We want to build two teams. When buffalo when a Rochester. That are highly competitive year in year out. For myself. From a personal standpoint I feel I'm ready for this position. From the steps that I've taken German process. From going from up with a pro player and in my career Rochester. To becoming a student or in Miami at the University of Michigan. To have an opportunity Internet the national hot good level. Central registry. From there has learned how firsthand how they and it shows run. How teams actually work. After my time at him with my internship with the National Hockey League I was fortunate to work with the Dallas Stars. Learn under Doug Armstrong lets Jackson and get a real good feel for what exactly. Involve a strong. Scouting staff at the amateur level. And then that led me to my opportunity in ten years with the Pittsburgh Penguins and from day one I was able to it. Panel and everything and be a part of everything within the organization. That's for enjoyed. For ten years I enjoy coming to the rink trying to prove our team whether it's talking agents talking to scouts. Working as a GM with the invokes very. I truly enjoyed my job. I'm looking forward to billing hockey operations department here that challenges me and Trace a collaborative environment. They'll make the best decisions for our organization. I clear understand there's work to be done but I'm excited though can do the job done. That say to work for these trade owners. Our loyal staff and our great fans. Thank you very much. King we'll be with the questions on. Jason congratulations John Lauro with the Associated Press. Coming to buffalo. What's it like to be coming back here. Knowing where this franchise was partly bankruptcy you know during your your time here and knowing where. You know this team is right now. Well obviously when I was seriously there was some of them more difficult times but I also. That's why things. Even for a team took this job would have always been proud about is what we accomplished in Rochester. You look at the players that were my teammates my first. Remain in training camp germ and in Buffalo's Ryan Miller and you look at the teams that we had in Rochester. Derek Roy Thomas van Eck Paul accosted. Jason Palmer bill. It was something that I was very proud of that all those players from both the national likely. Obviously you're always looking for yourself. To make the jump to that chocolate on for an basis but it something that I took away. Clinton reflected back in my career and how proud I was that so many people came from most teams and and has success both in buffalo and the rest National Hockey League. That's something that what do you were we'll have to really work at here. I think there's a lot of great young pieces here that's why am excited about taking on this opportunity in this challenge here. But development will be a big part of it. And it's not just. Our young prospects are the players that will select. In June here it's our young players of the national to a level content in their development as players. And I think one the successes from the organization coming from. Is that relationship between looks very history and we wanna read. Strengthen we re strengthening the relationship it was Rochester buffalo has for us. Developing an organization that's gonna be here and you're out successful National Hockey League. You have to have that development and that in place. Paul Hamilton WG our congratulations and thank you very much as you look. That's team on the ice the structure of the team on this. What do you believe you like a fast skating club you built from the goaltender out. What do you believe in your vision what you wanna see from that team here associated with confidence in him. Well what excites me a vote that you look at the group right now. Couple first question what I like about the group right now is this is a league that thrives on cinnamon. And the fortunate thing here who's we have a couple of amazing high and cinnamon. Miles select the fact that we have some young defensemen. They can handle some big mess up there. The type of team that I elected. To treat here. You know be in conjunction with the head coach that we bring him. As a team that plays a high temple. But analysts and a lot of times people think tight temple to me Jason know it's a high tempo puck possession game I think the you know. We try to do it whether it's in Pittsburgh or whether it's almost very wary of less skill he can still play a high end. Percentage high intensity game. But I think some success. In Pittsburgh is that from the standpoint of simplicity. Of yourselves game. But. If you're asking me exactly what we're gonna. Up tempo. Puck possession. North south game. You of course have to hire coach what is your timeline for that and what an edited area. Rubin coaching assistance. Would you looking for yet. And I'm not gonna put any. Limits on what experience standpoint sent. I look forward to talking to a lot of people think there's some great candidates out there. Things that I look at some young players and organization. A developer and educator is going to be very important. Communicators. I think in today's world. Today's game they have to have that strong communication with the players. And finally I think there's a bit and you have that presence in the locker room on making sure that. The players understand. It coaches in control. And certainly lead the charge. And it's not only just head coach. I think just like leadership is now a days the days of a Mark Messier. Carrying the entire team. Is no longer the case it's been important it's like a good person as a head coach and make sure that the entire staff has rounded out the proper manner. To offset some of the coaches weaknesses. From the time frame standpoint. On. You know we have things other things to do right away in regards to. Amateur scouting and pro meetings next week. But we'll certainly Ulster beacon those discussions with different coaches candidates. Myself that have something in place by the draft. Mike Harrington Buffalo News. Jason when Tim Murray had this job essentially he had a blank canvas and rebuild they tore down they started to build back up. You come in at a different time for the organization. How do you work now in the basically the middle of a rebuilt and how much does your experience in Pittsburgh working the cap. Around see it from all around Hillary played in the what you have to do here with this club given its very aptly. Well I think you look at the cavs Trish we have to utilize that term damage. And over the next couple weeks here leading up to expansion draft and even this year. Com but certainly from a cap standpoint. You look at a couple of the young players that we have. A year from now. We will face all over the cap crunch and I think that's an area of strength from me just. Find a way it is to contribute Jamie look it's great having players such as Crosby Balkan militant but yeah they certainly have. Heat up a lot of your cap space so it's imperative that you have these younger players coming through your organization. And that's where. You know we have young players and some pick it's imperative now that we develop the holidays that are junior when they're in Rochester were there in the National Hockey League. They have to take the next step in their development. There's an Albanian W Jersey Bob oh congratulations again. Along the lines what you just said there's a lot of young talent in this organization. Is you see it. And to the extent you've started it's so far how close is this team to being true contender for the next hour. Well. I will take. But first partisan senate a little bit but you have to do you really realize there was in game seven last night watching it muscle groups in Pittsburgh now moving here to buffalo. But it is something that we'll go out. I think from the outside. Our goal that you'll certainly be to be competitive we have to be competitive we have been challenging. You know showing improvement over this year and it should be the case with all these young players. Each year there should be to help the situation there. The bottom line though is typical we will be better but at the same don't have a lot of respect for this week and there are some teams that did make the playoffs this year. That will be better next year now it's become a more competitive environment that regards. It's the same thing it was with a long term goal needs to be he can't predict in my mind a line three years or. Four years or fibers that's when we're going to be going for the Stanley Cup. In this in this league. Of injuries and and different things that come up. It's just difficult to predict from SM one a came from environment Pittsburgh where there's you know it yes this without success last couple years but for numerous years. We can achieve those results or had injuries so it to me that's the goal the organization needs to be hearing you're out competing. Now I'm at a high level and a one of those years you breakthrough. Yeah I Jason. We don't rock the Rochester Democrat prime dip it was a just leader to say about you know you have to build two teams not just one. The model work when you were in Rochester. Hasn't worked out that they HL has changed as well the model how did you make it work it looks very what is the secret. So winning at all levels. While that I think a lot of people always try to figure out is it development and is this goading. It's the American Hockey League what is it. In the bottom line is if anything falls apart in that line it just doesn't work. It needs to be an entire group effort com. We have the traffic here starting him in June which happened here and now wolf what the good thing about the situation is there's a lot of traffic shuttered schools all moving forward here. Did those people in your system in with the development staff working with these players junior college and bringing them to the American Hockey League went from there from. Our success story or water bottle was that it all looks very well which we'll try to implement Rochester. And his office you have a strong coaching and coaching staff that's very tied to what goes on the National Hockey League level. It will be have been veteran leadership there. We wanna make sure there's opportunities for young players but they also have to compete for jobs. They're going to be compete for jobs the National Hockey League level so they better go through the experience of compete for jobs at Comerica conflict level. It's also owns a scenario where in making sure that there's opportunity for those players to get up to National Hockey League but in the right setting. If they're not ready in September October we have to have. Sort of more and I choked up players ready to take on those rolls on a classic example is a player like chickens he wasn't really planned National Hockey League in October. But in December January certainly was and now you see the success examiner. That's what we'll certainly don't overdo it and finally. It has to be the priority of management. And and the development group. To beat it down to Rochester and be around and work with their players are working with our coaches down there. I would say. We had a bigger staff and Pittsburgh. I was fortunate to work with people such as Tom FitzGerald Bill Guerin Mark Recchi and myself. And I think last I looked at over a three year period would at least one of us was down there for 95% the games. Players realize that players notice when management is around and making that a priority. And I think it just gives them a little bit of more incentive to international would. I'm sorry as a quick follow what you would you have a G and in Rochester as you're looking. For a bird. Yes we will inability situation where we look at things and obviously. Timeframe from you know. Bring attention to make any changes or staff or be more throughout the summer. One I want an LA to people that we have here within our organization. And into other people are working right now and it's it's it's it's that difficult to get you other peoples come. But yes we'll be certainly a goal whether it's someone from our development staff someone from a an assistant general manager. So clearly had the title of general manager in Rochester and worked closely with that cushion there just like. On the biggest learning experience for myself. Was working with coaches such as. You know John Heinz and and now clerk my cell that clicked on telly Donald Sperry bomb I think that strengthen the team down Wilkes-Barre but also strengthened. Myself as an executive and hope will hopefully allow me to have success now my role here. John over the Buffalo News manipulation thank you you've been mentioned in hockey circles for some time now what was it about this job at this time that made it. Well I think you. Just like most players. You always think you're ready. For the job and ready for the national Oxley. Maybe before you really are. Armon I I did feel I was ready it was great in Pittsburgh I joined the organization 2007 we go to finals and only goes when the cup and on line well this is as easy this is great. But de. You know I think. What's happened in Pittsburgh going through some difficulties. Maybe not hit him once or injuries going through coaching changes going through general manager change the real difficult situations as much as I look back on my time in Pittsburgh and the success we had. Preparing me for taking on this job I think going to some of that the failures was also gonna allow me to. He better equipped Franzen comes in the structure. I think. You know learning I was a ratio and ratio brought in today that the hockey world. I will always be indebted to. I I still don't let things off of Germany's clearly isn't a treatment for me but. But to change Jim Rutherford. It could have consummate more smoothly or the last three years. As a scenario where we no relation or prior. At a strong relations we develop strongly should be trusted. What I was trying to do with the staff trust the first. And because that I I think and now took the best of from nature is it don't matter to us from general affairs and drew. But I think you're going to process of talking some teams about general manager positions she just get more confidence vote but your scenario about your position. Maybe interview a bit better. And also too we are certainly a league that. Paul's success and last year are you brought to see two or three years ago people wondering is when a close in Pittsburgh and they pass them on mall and Crosby it's time. I think now we have made some changes to amateur staff. Mean some changes to or develop model that takes time for those things to come to fruition. And now I think you're seeing offices to slash its successes team this year I think that was a soccer you know. They expend their from numerous years here. So I think just because the success that team than in other other teams look at it in the I think obviously this present himself. Humorous. Jason over again I also have a question for Terry but I want to piggyback off what John asked. How as much. How difficult was it to yourself loose from the Stanley Cup run Pittsburgh head. And look at. It's it's it's. It's difficult. It's one of the college students it's that this is you put a testament so many hours of driving under wilkes-barre are going to different games. Judith Jamison. And going through. Difficulties that we did five or six years ago of not having success. And last year with a run it was fun now beyoncé and and stealing game 17 last night it's stressful. But it was a it was fun watching. Some of those young players such as Jake canceled. Or Brian Christ or you can have clearly Carter around the car running characterization. And we went spent two full years of relief and now he's helping a team out. And there in game seven. Now in the selling of violence is difficult must have. But. Why you're doing all the things is to one day hopefully be an opportunity general manager and that's why. It's edited it's difficult I have great great relationships and friendships and Pittsburgh. I will be cheering for them to. So we'll let you get another ring. But. I am 100%. Ecstatic about being here and being part of this organization here now being back in buffalo so. It's. It's emotional. But I am. Is it intimidating it's not a decision. And and for Terry last time we saw you here. You spoke about how you wanted to bring in somebody who could instill character discipline. Structure. I'm missing one but to this organization. What did you see him chase him that. We choose to believe he's the person capable of instilling that. He's. Pretty much done everything you can do and hockey from being a player. Like I said. Demon involved in evaluating. Drafting. Developing. And then molding those players. Between two teams. To eight show in the NHL team and that takes a lot of discipline and and a lot of structure. And he's obviously worked with some good people. In the organization he mentioned ratio. Basic class that. But. I mean you can see he's well prepared case he's been through the wars. With the Pittsburgh organization so you know it's the it just shows. By his track record of what he's accomplished. It is about a but he began give. You know jock Michael. His name comes to mind and I know a lot of this'll have to do coach you wind up hiring but in the interim what your thoughts of where his game is act right now and what the key is to maybe reaching him and helping him achieve a higher level and his development and all the players like them that young elite talent these days of me and it. Know Jack is an amazing player and then that. From a far I'm not gonna say here that day and don't check phone from a personal standpoint I look forward to talk with them just like oh numerous players on team. And get a feel for what really makes him tick but. For me what it is excited about working with them is the drive that yes you look at his track record in college. And junior and even from the simple thing right now that he's playing overthrow townships here's a player that's liking wants to play in April and may. Those that if there is we want an organization. So on this Jimmy's situation where I think just from being only staying healthy time he's gonna continue to escalate. You realize it's it's sometimes I think a lot of us forget how young these players are. They come into the thanks John also polished today. Have skating coaches at age ten as strength coaches aged twelve to have mental coaches at age fourteen. So it's become so Paula but I still think there's so much room for development. And that's going to be key from from our current echo so we bring in an entire coaching staff because it just can't be one guys fostered a relationship. Come over 82 game schedule. Head coaches assistant coaches people have to find a way to interact with our young players and to do their development there but. No it's one of the reasons why am so excited about this job you look around the National Hockey League. People. People are craving for Simon Michael Ryland ankle and the fact that we haven't here it is good feeling. Tonight Asheville. Fox Rochester. You talk about the need for presence as well as developing in Rochester save the emirates have a need. Advanced in the playoffs it over a decade. Is it also now going to be a priority to lead. That winning isn't part of development. You look at. Here's a classic example. It's very proud of our team looks for this year. I think we won. That the most was the raiders' season America partly that was a huge accomplishment for that group. Because of all the injuries we had a history and how all these players came up to the National Hockey League has success and National Hockey League and allowed disparate tools to get to the playoffs. That's he's a consummate the that that team continue to find a way get to the playoffs. We had an very difficult five game series. The first round of Providence and losing in the decisive game five. It was a disappointment because I think part of development as much as it was great playing in a difficult series against Providence and understand the battle the playoffs. Part of development is also find a way to when answers and you know it's a scenario here if you want just as we talked about. Allen for jobs at the National Hockey League level you want players to track records of having success in playoffs. Because we're not just trying to go not talk to players we're trying to have players have success in the playoffs appearing in in buffalo. And that is exciting if you look at the tracker with a lot of players in buffalo right now. When there's international hockey. Junior hockey College Hockey they've had success in other areas. Now incidents brought in the more resources bright no more depth players around them. I think once they get into that playoff run. In April and may. The competitive edges of those players who comes through. And that's truthful. Will be in charge of the coaching search and we've both been involved. They'll be a situation where I will certainly. Stick to lead on and go through I don't think you wanna talk to a lot of different coaches out there on thing and get an affiliate. It's very similar to. Interact with it. It's gonna staff here and your future you have some opinions from the outside until you actually get into an organization see how it's gonna staff interacted. Or start to really get reviews of an assistant coach Europe or Kosher what they haven't. They can you can always surprise so I certainly do want to talk to put a few different candidates in that regards. On a classic example to me is making excellent you know when I first. Interviewed him for the looks great job of second. You know had I had an impression just John zarrella at that there was a little different. And what amazed me from Mike Sullivan in Iraq and I didn't know he'd he'd been doing development for a year with the Chicago Blackhawks after he was let go watch him in Vancouver. And his focusing on development and any communication of the player. Really surprised me during the interview process and I'll see you is the risk Cecil hire for looks where they've moved on to Pittsburgh so. It'll be situation where I would like to go through those candidates. And then once you get down to whatever the final ser two or three years for different candidates feel very comfortable. So every bringing. Terry became involved with that process. Like this one. Jason this season here ended with the dressing room that was going in a lot of different directions with players on happy. With players unhappy with the coach and certainly you might have a coaching search and might go on for awhile maybe even after the cup final in the immediate future here. What kind of things you have in mind in terms of trying to build a culture for the team talking to players I mean you. Get out of plane and go to Cologne and talked to guys view. Don't talk to the commander in Vancouver man hug deal with building apple culture the team that clearly ended the season fracturing needs a lot of work better. Certainly and and yet there's going to be a bit of Italy process and create that culture. Into the fall I think it's going to be important watching him head coach for the coach to go vote the process and interact with it. The players to just serves make sure they know it's so she some of the core players and our leadership group. Through with expectations are going to be come September. But it is very difficult and these players are all over the world and it really building something until they all get back here September. From my standpoint I certainly look forward to interact with a lot of players some of them are here opposite deceiving her today are ready. It's great to the turnout that regards. But I also wanted everybody I have some opinions on. What happened here from afar. On but it will be imperative that I talked to a lot of this a lot of players and he what are we doing well here let's continue that aspect but what we have to improve on. And just get a better feel from my perspective. Thanks ever went.