Sabres name Botterill eighth GM in franchise history

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It’s been rumored for days, but now it’s official — Jason Botterill is the new GM in Buffalo.

“We are very happy to welcome Jason Botterill to the Buffalo Sabres family,” owner Terry Pegula said in a release.  “Jason’s hockey knowledge, experience drafting and developing players, and his approach to management stood out to us during our interview process.

“Jason has built a solid reputation as a leader that connects strongly with players and staff around him. We are confident he will have a positive impact within our organization and will help us get to our ultimate goal.”

Botterill, 40, will take the position after serving as Jim Rutherford’s assistant with the Penguins, a position he also held under former GM Ray Shero.

The former NHL winger had emerged as the favorite for the Sabres gig in recent weeks, twice interviewing for the job. The position has been vacant since outgoing GM Tim Murray was fired last month.

Botterill certainly checks plenty of boxes for Buffalo. He’s a former Sabre, having finished off his playing career with the organization. He’s served in a variety of front office roles — originally scout in Dallas, before working his way up from Pittsburgh’s director of hockey ops.

Known as a salary cap expert with a keen eye for talent evaluation, he’s been instrumental in building up the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (where he serves as GM).

He was the one responsible for hiring Mike Sullivan in WBS and, on his watch, a number of farmhands have risen to prominent roles with the big club: Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson, Tom Kuhnhackl, Bryan Rust and Jake Guentzel, to name a few.