Botterill - "Its tough to predict, there is a lot of discussion right now"

February 1, 2018

Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill joined Schopp and Bulldog to discuss the state of the team as the deadline approaches, the league and more on Thursday. 

Botterill has his hands full for the trade deadline, where the market hasn't quite set itself yet, "I think it's still tough to predict, there's certainly a lot of discussion going on out there. But, you look at how tight the teams are and how tight the entire league is. One one hand you're saying 'Well, why aren't teams making trades earlier?' but I also think there's such a value now in the league for young players, and draft picks, teams want them, and if they're going to give them up they want to make sure they are in the playoffs."

There are major questions regarding Evander Kane, the most likely player to be dealt by the team with his ability to score goals and his contract status with the team. Botterill knows a player like Kane is not often made available and generating interest, "It's not surprising that there's interest in Evander. What he's produced with us, how he plays the game, he's a player that teams have certainly acquired about." 

With Kane and Benoit Pouliot likely being dealt as rental players, Botterill feels that market is not set and will take a couple of weeks to get that sort of price established, "You see some precedents set in the past with rental players... it's always sort of a moving target and that's where things will solidify over the next few weeks." 

Botterill's biggest challenge will be building the team to be competitive as fast as possible going forward, which has been done recently by other teams, "You seen situations in Colorado and New Jersey where they've been able to turn it around fairly quickly. It's something that were certainly striving for. How our younger players come through the ranks here, how quickly they develop, you want to give them opportunity."

Botterill was also asked about the unpopular offsides challenge, due to some remarks by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman regarding the rule during the All Star weekend, "The bottom line is that it's not going anywhere, it is going to be a part of game now. Now it's just trying to improve the rule. What's frustrating at times in the length of the delays at times and that's what they're trying to correct."

You can hear the entire interview from Botterill with Schopp and Bulldog here: