As we speak The Creator and his staff are somewhere in Montana coming up with a game plan for the weeks ahead. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Stanley Cup winning Penguins signed GM Jim Rutherford to a three year extension through the 2018-19 season.
The common thread between those two pieces of news is the name Jason Botterill. Botterrill is the Associate GM in Pittsburgh and has widely been considered the GM-in-waiting to take over with Rutherford’s decides to hang em up.
The 40 year old Canadian was the 20th overall pick in the 1994 NHL Draft to the Dallas Stars. His playing days ended abruptly appearing in just 88 NHL games before suffering a miserable concussion that forced him into early retirement in 2004. It didn’t take long before Botterill found his way onto the other side of the glass as a scout in 2006 for the Stars and eventually made his way to Pittsburgh a year later as their salary cap-ologist.
He was then promoted to Associate GM after the 2013-14 season ended and appeared on his way to being the full GM shortly thereafter. Now, with the Rutherford extension, Botterill may just be the perfect candidate to become Las Vegas’ first General Manager.
He’s been a part of two Cup winners, he’s been a scout, a contract negotiator, been in player development, and has an excellent grasp on the NHL’s salary cap.
You always have aspirations of maybe running a show at one point being in a general manager position. –Jason Botterill, Penguins Associate GM
The Las Vegas situation is unlike any other GM job in the NHL. The opportunity to build an organization from the ground up simply does not come around very often and has to be incredibly appealing to any current or aspiring GM.
Botterill seems like an excellent fit in Vegas as he represents a mixture of experience and youth. Throw in the success at his previous job and the likelihood of wanting to grow with the organization rather than seeing the job as a last hurrah, and we’ve got a winner. Just reading the comments on the web about Botterill it appears both fans and the organization alike are concerned about him jumping ship and coming down here to start the club in Las Vegas.
It’s all very much in the rumor stage at the moment, but with The Creator’s comments about asking the league for the proper protocols on interviewing candidates currently with NHL teams, Botterill’s name may just be one of the targets.
He doesn’t have the name recognition of a Dale Tallon, George McPhee, or Scott Mellanby, and there’s not really a connection to Las Vegas, but if we are talking about getting the best guy for the job, Botterill may represent just that.