Jason Botterill wasn't going to wait for his team's Stanley Cup playoff run to end - there was work to do. That work wasn't going to come with the Pittsburgh Penguins, though. Instead, he was being given the chance to run his own team as the general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, just the third person to hold that role in the organization over the past 20 years. His job: to restore good hockey to a once proud franchise and a city desperately clamoring for sporting success.

Welcoming the new general manager

The team announced the hiring of Botterill on Thursday morning. The news came three weeks after the firing of GM Tim Murray. In a statement, team owner Terry Pegula cited Botterill's track record and reputation as reasons he will do a great job leading the Sabres back to glory. A more formal press conference to introduce him will be held at the KeyBank Center later in the afternoon.

Botterill reportedly beat out six other finalists for the job. He's just 40 years old but has been a member of the Penguins' front office for a decade, serving as the director of hockey administration, assistant general manager, and most recently, associate general manager. He helped lead the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships during his tenure and his impact could be felt if they win a third one this season. The Sabres hope he'll work some of his magic in western New York.

Returning to Buffalo

This will actually be a reunion for Botterill and the Sabres; he played hockey in the organization from 2002 to 2005 before suffering a career-ending concussion in Rochester. Following the injury, he earned his MBA from the University of Michigan. He's known for his economic savvy, prepared to help the team exploit the salary cap to their benefit and maximizing the talent and development of the roster.

Despite an infusion of highly-paid veterans and young stars in the draft, the Sabres haven't cracked the playoffs since the 2010-11 season. Forward Kyle Okposo was largely disappointing following his first year after signing a seven-year, $42 million deal with the team during free agency. Meanwhile, there have been rumblings that Jack Eichel is not happy with the direction of the franchise and could depart from Buffalo when given the opportunity.

Botterill will be tasked with getting the forwards going, making more shrewd signings, and getting the team back to the postseason before the drought extends any further.

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