Posts Tagged ‘Kevyn Adams’

Though his rebuilding job is far from complete, Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams signed a contract extension on Wednesday, an indication that ownership believes he has the franchise pointed in the right direction.

Terms of the extension were not revealed. Adams, who’s in his third season as GM, signed the deal as players reported for the start of training camp.

The team that has undergone a significant transformation since Adams — a former NHL player with no hockey management experience — was promoted from a job on the team’s business side following the abrupt firing of Jason Botterill in June 2020.

In that time, the Sabres have changed coaches, going from Ralph Krueger to Don Granato, and purged much of the core of their team, highlighted by the trade that sent captain Jack Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights in November.

Adams’ plan was to rebuild the Sabres through youth and around players who valued being in Buffalo. What remains unfinished is the Sabres contending for a playoff spot to end an 11-year postseason drought which now ranks as the longest in NHL history.

“Kevyn’s leadership and vision over the past two seasons has proven invaluable, and I’m confident in his ability to continue move us forward as an organization,” owner Terry Pegula said in statement. “I, along with fans and community, am happy to see Kevyn continue to build a winning culture both on and off the ice.”

The Sabres showed signs of promise last season, closing 12-6-3 to finish with a 32-39-11 record. Buffalo finished fifth in the Atlantic Division, matching the team’s best since it was third in 2011-12.

More important, the Sabres were led by their youngsters, including center Tage Thompson, who scored a career-best 38 goals. Thompson blossomed under Granato after struggling during Krueger’s tenure.

Adams’ influence was also apparent from the impact of forwards Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, who were acquired in the trade for Eichel. Through other moves, Adams has restocked the Sabres’ farm system with a series of first-round draft selections, and freed up space under the salary cap by ridding the team of overpriced and underperforming players.

The 47-year-old Adams is from the Buffalo area and enjoyed a 10-year NHL playing career. He won a Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes.

After briefly serving as an agent, Adams joined the Sabres in 2009 in a player-development role and eventually served as an assistant coach. He also helped establish the Sabres-backed Academy of Hockey program, and was the team’s vice president of business operations when he took over as general manager.

Rumors swirled Wednesday night suggesting that the Calgary Flames were offering Matthew Tkachuk to the Buffalo Sabres as part of a deal for Jack Eichel.

After Buffalo traded Eichel to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday, Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said Tkachuk’s name hadn’t been floated in negotiations about a deal.

“It’s not accurate. That was not correct in terms of players that were being tossed around,” Adams said of the rumor involving Tkachuk, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl. “That’s an unfortunate thing when those types of reports go out.”

The Flames were reportedly one of the final two teams in on Eichel alongside the Golden Knights.

Tkachuk told reporters Thursday that he hadn’t taken the rumor seriously.

“I’m sure it’s different for everybody, but I had a hard time believing it was true, so I went about my business like I normally do the night before the game to get prepared for tonight,” the forward said, according to the Calgary Sun’s Kristen Anderson.

He also confirmed that he talked to Flames general manager Brad Treliving on Wednesday night, but Tkachuk said he wanted to keep the contents of that conversation private.

Calgary selected Tkachuk with the sixth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. He’s been one of the team’s best players since making his debut, scoring 114 goals and adding 170 assists in 358 games. He’s set to be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams isn’t in a rush to trade his franchise star Jack Eichel.

“What’s critically important to make sure is clear is that we’re in control of this process,” Adams said Thursday, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl. “We have a player under contract. We don’t feel any pressure. If there’s a deal out there that we feel is the right thing for the Buffalo Sabres that’s going to help us improve – whether that’s improve right away or improve down the road, those are all the things weigh – we’d be open to it.

“But we’re not in a position where we feel we’re just going to do something to do it. That doesn’t make any sense.”

Eichel has been the subject of trade rumors for months. After how his neck injury was treated, the 24-year-old expressed there’s a disconnect between him and the club. His status for the upcoming season is still uncertain.

Earlier this week, Eichel’s agents said they expect the forward will be traded in the “near future.” They were responding to Adams saying he would have “no problem” with Eichel still being with the club to begin training camp.

Adams confirmed he’s still often discussing a potential trade with teams, and there’s still a market for Eichel. But with the majority of this year’s top free agents now signed, the number of potential suitors appears to be dwindling.

Eichel has recorded 139 goals and 216 assists over 375 career games. There are five years remaining on his contract with a $10-million cap hit per season, and a no-movement clause that kicks in after the upcoming campaign.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams has provided some insight into what his club will look like in the future.

“I think it’s building. I think that’s the right way to say it. We have a lot of young players that are talented,” Adams said to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.

“Sometimes, when players come into the league at a really young age, some people feel like maybe they’re older than they are. But guys like (Rasmus) Dahlin, (Dylan) Cozens, (Casey) Mittelstadt, these are very, very young players. So, we want to build.

“And I’ve been energized about this young core of Sabres we have that are hungry, and they want to be part of the solution. … These guys are proud to be Buffalo Sabres, they want to fix this and get this right, they want to move forward together. So that’s the young core that we’re working to build around.”

Adams didn’t mention captain Jack Eichel as part of the young core amid reported trade talks surrounding the star. In May, Eichel told reporters there was a “disconnect” between him and the franchise following a disagreement over how to treat his neck injury.

The 24-year-old has five years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $10 million. Buffalo selected him with the second overall pick in the 2015 draft.

The Sabres have had several lottery picks since picking Eichel. The club grabbed Mittelstadt with the eighth pick in 2017, Dahlin first overall in 2018, and Cozens at No. 7 in 2019. All three are under the age of 22 and played extremely well under new head coach Don Granato last season.

With a plethora of youthful talent, Adams has made it clear that his goal is to surround the budding trio with players that can help turn Buffalo back into a contender.

“We need to do a lot of building, we need to surround those young players with the right people, the right culture every day, with players who truly love being a Buffalo Sabre and want to get this right,” Adams said.

Once again, the Sabres have the first overall pick in the upcoming draft and will add another fresh player to the mix. The team also selected Jack Quinn with the eighth pick in last year’s draft, but he has yet to make his NHL debut.

The Buffalo Sabres and captain Jack Eichel are heading toward a resolution over how to treat the star’s herniated disc in his neck, his agent, Peter Fish, told The Associated Press’ Joe Yerdon on Thursday.

Eichel told reporters in May that he was upset with how the Sabres were handling his injury, saying there was a “disconnect” between the parties. He implied he wanted to have surgery to repair the injury but the club forced him to try to rehab it without undergoing the procedure.

General manager Kevyn Adams insisted the team’s position remains the same, and he had a lengthy conversation with Eichel and his agent recently.

“Our stance hasn’t changed and where we’re at. It’s in the hands of the medical experts,” Adams said, according to Yerdon. “That’s what I said previously and it’s where we’re at right now. That’s the best I can give you.”

Eichel missed the final two months of the campaign due to the injury. His future with the Sabres remains unknown, with a number of teams reportedly calling Buffalo about him. He has five years remaining on his $80-million deal, with a no-movement clause that doesn’t kick in until next season.

Kevyn Adams is doing his best to put out the figurative fire Jack Eichel ignited earlier this week, but the Buffalo Sabres general manager didn’t exactly extinguish it Wednesday.

Two days after Eichel revealed a “disconnect” between himself and the organization over the handling of one of his injuries, Adams made his feelings on the situation clear.

“We are going to get this right with the people who want to be here,” the GM said, before adding the club’s biggest disconnect is with the fans, not the players, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl.

Eichel implied Monday he wants to have surgery on the herniated disc in his neck but that the team won’t allow it. Adams said Wednesday that experts recommended rehab over surgery and that the procedure Eichel’s camp wants has never been performed on an NHL player, which makes the Sabres’ doctors uncomfortable.

When Adams was asked how he’d respond as a player if his team told him he couldn’t have the surgery he was seeking, the GM sided with the professionals.

“I would make sure I was listening to the doctors,” he said, before adding he’s confident in the club’s medical personnel.

Adams added Eichel hasn’t requested a trade. The 24-year-old forward said Monday he’s “a bit upset” with how his injury has been handled, and he’s focused on playing next season “wherever that might be.”

The talented center is under contract through 2025-26 with a cap hit of $10 million. Eichel has served as the Sabres’ captain for the last three seasons, and he’s spent his entire six-year career with Buffalo. The team drafted him second overall in 2015.

Buffalo Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams wants to make a deal to improve his lackluster club.

“Adams is trying. He’s working aggressively looking for a trade,” TSN’s Darren Dreger said Friday on WGR 550. “He’s looking to upgrade in every possible scenario, it’s just like every other (general) manager that’s struggled.”

Dreger added that while Adams is extensively working the phones seeking a move, that effort isn’t leading to any serious discussions.

“Lots of conversations, but really no substance to the conversations for a myriad of reasons,” Dreger said.

One hurdle to any trade is the quarantine players would potentially be required to enter upon switching squads. There are also restrictions prohibiting non-essential travel at the border between Canada and the United States.

The Sabres were expected to take a step forward in 2021 after Adams signed prized free agent Taylor Hall to a one-year contract and acquired veteran center Eric Staal in a trade with the Minnesota Wild during the offseason. However, Buffalo has struggled mightily this campaign, ranking third-last in the NHL in points percentage while going 6-12-3 through 21 games.

Last month, the Sabres were forced to remain idle for two weeks amid a COVID-19 outbreak that followed two games against the New Jersey Devils, who had just experienced their own outbreak.

Nevertheless, several key Buffalo players have underachieved in 2021. Captain Jack Eichel has produced only two goals in 19 games, despite amassing a team-high 14 assists. Hall has collected only two markers in 21 contests. And Jeff Skinner, who carries a $9-million cap hit through 2026-27, has managed just one point (an assist) in 18 games, and he’s repeatedly been a healthy scratch.

Making matters worse, Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark – who had played well this season considering how poorly the club is performing – will be out for a month after suffering an injury last week.

Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs since 2011 when it lost in the first round for the second straight season.

The Buffalo Sabres are in the midst of yet another disappointing season, and general manager Kevyn Adams expressed his frustration with the team’s lack of progress.

“I’m angry. I would hope all of you are,” Adams said, according to Buffalo News Sport’s Mike Harrington. “I would hope all our fans are because that means you care. … I’ve been empowered by Terry and Kim Pegula to fix this and that’s what I’m going to do.”

The Sabres made a number of big moves during the offseason, including the additions of top free agent Taylor Hall and depth piece Eric Staal. Many expected those acquisitions to finally push Buffalo to contender status, but the team once again finds itself near the bottom of the standings.

With a 6-12-3 record, the Sabres rank third-last in the league in points percentage and goals per game (2.19). Head coach Ralph Krueger is in his second year at the helm, and Adams didn’t dismiss the notion that his job may be in jeopardy.

“Everything is being evaluated. (Krueger) understands the situation we’re in is unacceptable,” Adams said when asked why a coaching change hasn’t been made yet, according to Harrington. “The players do. Everybody does. It’s just flat-out not good enough.”

The general manager is reportedly aggressively trying to make a trade to improve his club. Franchise center Jack Eichel has expressed his displeasure with the club’s performance in the past, but Adams said he hasn’t requested a trade, according to Harrington.

The team’s top players have struggled to produce so far in 2021. Eichel and Hall have just two goals apiece, and Jeff Skinner has collected just one assist while also being a healthy scratch for several games.

Buffalo hasn’t reached the postseason since 2011.

Kevyn Adams wants to make sure it’s understood the Buffalo Sabres aren’t interested in dealing Jack Eichel.

“I have zero concern on Jack wanting to be here,” the general manager said Monday, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl. He added: “There’s no intention of moving Jack Eichel. I can make that very clear.”

Adams was repeating his Sept. 29 response to a report that multiple teams had checked in on the superstar forward’s availability. Despite interest from other clubs, the Sabres weren’t interested in trading him then, either.

“People call and make phone calls and ask about players every day,” Adams said at the time. “My job is to listen, and we have no intention of shopping Jack Eichel. People call and you have conversations. That’s it.”

Eichel’s agent, Peter Fish, has also said his client doesn’t want to leave Buffalo despite Eichel’s frustration with the franchise’s struggles.

Adams replaced the fired Jason Botterill in June; Eichel said in late May it’s been “a tough past five years” with the Sabres.

The dynamic scorer, who turns 24 on Oct. 24, posted a career-high 36 goals to go along with 42 assists in just 68 games in 2019-20.

Eichel signed an eight-year, $80-million extension with the Sabres in October 2017. He’s been the club’s captain since the start of the 2018-19 season. Buffalo drafted him second overall in 2015.

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The Buffalo Sabres relieved Jason Botterill of his duties as general manager and replaced him with senior vice president of business administration Kevyn Adams, the team announced Tuesday.

“This morning, we informed Jason Botterill he will no longer be the general manager of the Sabres,” owners Terry and Kim Pegula said in a statement.

“This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during a full review of our hockey operation. We recognized we have philosophical differences regarding how best to put ourselves in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup. So, we decided to make this change.”

The Pegulas reversed course after Kim said in May that Botterill would be back with the club as general manager for the 2020-21 campaign.

Kim Pegula said at the press conference that the draft being pushed back gave the organization more time to evaluate his performance and start planning for the future, according to The Athletic’s John Vogl.

Botterill was named general manager in May 2017. The Sabres missed the playoffs and finished 25th or lower in league standings during all three years of his tenure.

Sabres captain Jack Eichel recently voiced his displeasure with the direction of the club after another trying season: “I’m fed up with losing,” he said, admitting that failing to qualify for the NHL’s expanded 24-team playoff format only “adds to the frustration.”

Some of Botterill’s major moves during his time as general manager include signing Eichel to an eight-year, $80-million deal in October 2017 and trading away Ryan O’Reilly and Evander Kane in separate deals. Botterill also acquired winger Jeff Skinner prior to the 2018-19 campaign and signed him to an eight-year, $72-million contract last June.

Adams becomes the Sabres’ fourth general manager since the Pegulas took ownership of the team in 2011. The club’s nine-year playoff drought is currently the longest in the NHL.

Buffalo also fired several front-office and staff members of the AHL’s Rochester Americans, including general manager Randy Sexton (who was Buffalo’s assistant GM), head coach Chris Taylor, and assistant coaches Gord Dineen and Toby Petersen. The Amerks went 33-20-4 this season, finishing second in the North Division.

Sabres director of amateur scouting Ryan Jankowski and a “good chunk” of the team’s amateur staff were also let go, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.