Botterill on captaincy: 'The days of Mark Messier don't exist anymore'

October 20, 2017

Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill made his first appearance of the season with Schopp and the Bulldog on Friday from (716) Food and Sport. The Sabres are not off to a great start in Botterill's first year as the new general manager. The team has a record of 1-4-2 and just four points in the standings. Only the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes have less points in the overall standings. Now returning home, the Sabres are looking to get some wins and prevent their season from getting away from them early. The defensive corps Botterill put together in the offseason has not looked particularly great. One offseason addition, Victor Antipin, will rejoin the lineup tonight. 

Here are some of the more notable quotes from Botterill's interview:

On the Sabres slow start to the season:
"Phil and his staff are trying to interact with these guys away from the rink. Figure out who needs a little bit of a pat on the back, versus who needs a harsher tone. We're showing glimpses of that type of team Phil wants to have, but consistency isn't there yet."

On some of the young players still being in Rochester:
"What we're trying to accomplish with our young players isn't just survive in the NHL. For the long term projection it might be better to be in the AHL, playing 20 minutes a night, instead of in the NHL playing five minutes."

Specifically on Justin Bailey:
"I give Justin credit, from the start of training camp, he's been focusing on details. Worked on it in the AHL. He's always had the speed in the size to be in the NHL... At the end of the day Justin Bailey wants to score goals."

On former GM Tim Murray, and his favorite part of the job:
"Tim was an amazing evaluator of talent. He would get out there and watch games. For myself, I enjoy that everyday I get up and it's something different. Either going to a game, or talking to an agent about a contract, or talking about the business side, or talking to the coach. Going through so many different things is what I enjoy about my side."

On not having a captain:
"I see the situation where, the days of Mark Messier and one guy leading the team doesn't exist anymore. Phil and myself are still understanding the personalities. If it's just one person, I think guys tune them out over the course of 82 games. You have to have different people step up in different situations."

On contract talks with Evander Kane:
"I've always had a strong relationship with his agent. I love how Phil's reached out to Evander. We said we're not going to be doing a contract right away. Evander's been focused, loves Phil's style of game. He's been effective in a lot of different roles. He's helping out team, the contract situation will take care of itself."

You can hear Botterill's entire comments below: