Penguins notebook: Sabres' shakeup could have impact
Jason Botterill will be granted permission to interview with the Buffalo Sabres for their vacant general manager position, sources told the Tribune-Review on Wednesday.
Botterill, in his fifth season as Penguins assistant general manager, had not been contacted about the Buffalo opening as of Wednesday morning, when a front-office shakeup cost longtime Sabres general manager Darcy Regier his job.
Penguins GM Ray Shero declined comment. He does not publicly comment on employees under contract.
Botterill, 37, is viewed as a rising star in management circles, mostly because of his handling of the salary cap with the Penguins. He owns a master's of business administration degree from Michigan and worked with NHL Central Registry before joining the Penguins in the 2007 offseason.
Botterill played for the Sabres, and Buffalo's upper management includes Ken Sawyer (senior adviser) and Ted Black (president). Sawyer and Black worked for the Penguins when Shero was hired after the 2005-06 season.
In addition to managing the cap and handling contract negotiations, Botterill manages the Penguins' hockey operations department. He also runs AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and assists on scouting.
Botterill replaced Chuck Fletcher, Shero's first assistant general manager, when Fletcher left to take over the Minnesota Wild during the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs. In-house candidates to replace Botterill would include: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Dan MacKinnon, director of player personnel; and Randy Sexton, co-director of amateur scouting and a former NHL general manager.
Defenseman Paul Martin skated on his own before the Penguins' pregame practice Wednesday morning. He had not skated since playing in a loss at the New York Rangers on Nov. 6.
Martin (lower body) is day-to-day. He has missed three consecutive games.
Defenseman Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) is “still to the point where (physical therapy) is minimal,” coach Dan Bylsma said. Scuderi has a recovery frame of six to eight weeks after suffering his injury Oct. 26 at Toronto.
The share-nothing ways of NHL general managers and coaches changes during Olympic seasons, Bylsma said.
Bylsma, coach of Team USA, hinted that he knew details of an injury sustained by Los Angeles King goalie Jonathan Quick on Tuesday night.
Quick was sent to Los Angeles for medical evaluation after he experienced lower-body discomfort in a game at Buffalo.
“We're going to play L.A. before the Olympics ... but there is what I perceive as zero hiding about (injuries),” Bylsma said. “I would be lying if I said I didn't get some information about (Quick's status).
“There is almost zero hiding in terms of sharing about players … not only on the American team but people who are on the opposite teams as well.”
Kings general manager Dean Lombardi is part of Team USA's selection committee.
Around the boards
The Penguins and Blackhawks will wear special uniforms for the outdoor game at Chicago's Soldier Field on March 1. The uniforms were designed by the NHL, as were those for all clubs participating in the Stadium Series.