Botterill is ‘open to just about anything’ to acquire forward help


  • TSN analyst Darren Dreger said he’s been informed Buffalo Sabres general manager Jason Botterill has made offers for forwards, but he doesn’t know which teams or forwards Botterill has targeted.
  • He also said the conversations are ongoing as Botterill sees his forward depth as an area of concern.

“I think it’s beyond Jason Botterill actively looking. My information is that he’s made offers, and I believe they are offers on forwards, but I don’t know the specifics of the forward or the teams that he’s been most in conversation with. This conversation has been ongoing. He’s just simply trying to help things out. It’s not just because he sees an area of concern or he wants to better what he has up front, it’s also through necessity with the injuries that they have up front.”

“I think that Botterill is open to just about anything. We have to be a little bit careful because when you talk about acquiring a top-six forward, and I think in a perfect scenario that might be two of the trades that Botterill is referring to in adding a top-six and adding a bottom-six. If you’re adding a top-six forward, what are you willing to pay out to get that player? Are you taking pieces off your existing roster?

“It’s been believed all along that with [Zach] Bogosian healthy now, it would be a piece from the back end. [Marco] Scandella or someone else that acquires that piece. Now the sense I’m getting from my Buffalo sources is that Botterill likes the depth that he has defensively, and although he’s not opposed to considering moving a piece from his blue line, maybe you’d prefer to do it elsewhere. Well, where is elsewhere? What player are we talking about if you’re trying to acquire a top-six [forward]? If it’s not a roster player, then it’s gotta be a pretty damn good prospect or a prospect and a draft pick.”

I think it’s possible that he could make a couple of trades. At least that was the direction he was hoping to go in at the start of this week. If he’s making a couple of trades, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re, at least, getting two players back, and maybe there are multiple pieces that can be in play. I want to defend Jason in all of this. This guy is working hard. He’s trying to find and acquire help up front, especially up front, but he hasn’t found the right mix yet. He hasn’t found the right fit, and a lot of that has to do with the finances. But this is by no means through the lack of effort. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is successful in the days ahead, be it days or the next 10 days to two weeks.”

Darren Dreger
  • Dreger also indicated Botterill and other GMs interested in making trades are facing the problem of several teams having players on long-term injury reserve.
  • He estimates there are 10-12 clubs in that position.
  • Botterill could be open to just about anything.
  • Dreger feels Botterill might prefer adding a top-six and a bottom-six forward.
  • Acquiring a top-six forward would mean giving up a piece from the roster.
  • Dreger suggested the return of defenseman Zach Bogosian could mean parting with a blueliner such as Marco Scandella.
  • If Botterill is reluctant to draw upon his defensive depth, Dreger thinks it could take moving “a pretty damn good prospect or a prospect and a draft pick.”
  • A player-for-player swap isn’t impossible at this point in the season, but finding the right fit is an issue.
  • As Dreger indicated, the unusually high number of teams with players on LTIR make it more difficult to swing a deal.
  • With his club sinking in the standings, Botterill is under growing pressure to do something soon.
Sources & Credits: Darren Dreger, WGR 550, Spectors Hockey
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