Botterill: 'We didn't need a revamp, but we wanted to add'

The Sabres general manager joined Bulldog and Paul Hamilton ahead of Friday's matchup with the Panthers

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October 11, 2019 - 6:27 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports

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The Buffalo Sabres are off to a hot start to the 2019-20 season, holding a 3-0-1 record heading into Friday night's matchup with the Florida Panthers at KeyBank Center.

It is the best start to a season for a Sabres team since the 2009-10 season, when Buffalo got out to a 4-0-1 record in the first five games.

In the Sabres' first four games, they are led by the league's best power play, which is currently at a 53.3% conversion rate. Leading the way on the power play is rookie winger Victor Olofsson, who has scored all four of his goals this season while on the man advantage.

Rasmus Dahlin is also having a major impact on the power play, picking up five power play points in the first four games. Dahlin leads the Sabres overall in scoring with a goal and six assists to start the year.

Sabres captain Jack Eichel is also right at the top of Buffalo's scoring list with three goals and four assists in the opening four games. He's coming off a big four-point night on Wednesday night where he scored twice and added two helpers in a 5-4 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens.

The architect of this year's team is general manager Jason Botterill, and he joined the Bulldog and Paul Hamilton at (716) Food and Sport before Friday night's game against the Panthers.

Here's some of what he had to say:

 

Botterill on head coach Ralph Krueger:

"Jim Rutherford suggested I talk to Ralph. Just felt that he could be a good mix with myself. He has a very creative resume, but at the end of the day he's a kid from Manitoba that loves hockey. There's a simplicity to Ralph, our players are able to talk to him."

 

Botterill on being right up against the salary cap:

"We understood when we signed [Marcus] Johansson that we'd be close to the cap. We certainly want to have the ability to add to our team. So many of the top teams are right up against it. It'll come into it a lot from a trade perspective."

 

Botterill on Rasmus Dahlin's second season:

"He knows what he has to work on. Lower-body strength, he looks bigger and stronger. He has such a great brain. He knows the moves of the other players. He'll make mistakes, but his ability to learn from them is why he's so special."

 

Botterill on Casey Mittelstadt going into Year 2:

"Players are always going to develop at different time frames. Casey had to work on his body and he did that over the summer. We see the hockey sense. Ralph puts him in power play situations. The fact that we have two units that produce is nice."

 

You can listen to the entire interview below:

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