Sabres GM Jason Botterill: We deserved to finish 31st

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Prior to the 2017-2018 season, Jason Botterill had never missed the playoffs as an executive. Now he's in charge of changing the culture and returning the Buffalo Sabres to relevancy after the clubs third last-place finish in the last five seasons. 

"Right now we have a losing culture, we haven't won here, and it's up to Phil and me to work through that and make sure we change our culture," Botterill said during his end of the season media conference on Wednesday. "We finished 31st and we deserved to finish 31st."

Botterill started his remarks with a guarantee that first-year head coach Phil Housley would be returning next season. 

"I've certainly enjoyed working with Phil over the past year here. I think the way I want to put the team together, the way he wants to play, is a good mix and he'll certainly be here as our coach next year."

Among the main topics of conversation, Botterill was asked about what changes are needed on the ice and if he still is optimistic about the future in Buffalo. 

"When you finish 31st, you pretty much need to improve in every category, let's be honest," Botterill added. "We're going to get a good player, wherever we pick in the draft, whether it's one through four, that will certainly help our situation. But I would say the couple things I really want to improve on is our team speed up front. We have to add more skill and I thought that came with Casey Mittelstadt. And we just have to get faster on the wings."

You can watch the entire 22-minute interview above!

News & Notes

- Botterill has not discussed a new deal with Sam Reinhart's agent, but plans to in the near future

- Linus Ullmark is expected to be one of the two goalies in Buffalo next season 

-Notre Dame college free agent Andrew Oglevie signed a two-year entry level deal with the team. He's finishing his year at Notre Dame and then turning pro. 

-Robin Lehner does not need offseason surgery. His future with the team remains uncertain 

-Botterill hopeful that both Rasmus Asplund and Victor Olofsson will be coming to North America next season

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