Assistant general manager of the Seattle Kraken, Jason Botterill was asked this week if he will be in the running for the Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager job. The position was left open after Jim Rutherford resigned on Jan. 27.
Writer Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News says Botterill “politely declined comment.” But, the reporter notes some interesting ties the Edmonton-born, Winnipeg-raised former player has to the Penguins’ organization and hints at why he could reasonably be considering the job. That is, if he decides to leave the Kraken.
Botterill was fired in June of last year as the General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres and promptly replaced by Kevyn Adams.
History with the Penguins
It was just this month that Botterill took a position with the Kraken as assistant GM under Ron Francis, along with long-serving Chicago Blackhawks executive Norm Maciver. It’s an exciting chance to build a team from the ground up. But, it might still be tempting for Botterill to try for a position at the head of the table, especially in Pittsburgh.
“It’s fair to wonder about Botterill’s status with the Kraken,” Harrington wrote and that’s in part, due to his history with the Penguins. Botterill was named the team’s assistant GM in 2009, replacing Cliff Fletcher who went on to take charge of the Minnesota Wild.
In May of 2014, when the Pens fired Ray Shero, it was Botterill who got named the team’s interim GM. When Jim Rutherford was hired, he kept Botterill on as an associate until the Sabres came calling.
The Penguins are Botterill Fans
A part of three Stanley Cups with the team, Botterill is still highly regarded among the Penguins’ administration, especially Mario Lemieux. Harrington notes he is popular among the media that covers the team as well.
Despite the fact the Sabres underperformed with Botterill at the helm, “he’s still well-regarded around the league and it’s easy to find many people in the game who blame owners Terry and Kim Pegula for the franchise’s issues as much as the former GM,” Harrington wrote.
The fact ownership of the Sabres spoke highly of Botterill’s work just weeks before he was fired, was a bit off-putting for most and caused quite a stir. It’s possible that if he doesn’t chase down the Penguins job, we could see Botterill in the GM’s chair again somewhere.
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