What impact will major staffing changes with the Buffalo Sabres have on Remi Elie?

Glengarry County’s Remi Elie has been a professional hockey player at the NHL and AHL levels for the past five seasons, the last two of which have been spent in the Buffalo Sabres organization, primarily as a member of the AHL-affiliated Rochester Americans.

The truncated 2019-20 campaign saw the 25-year-old left winger play exclusively with the Amerks, suiting up for 34 games, and recording 13 points and 10 penalty minutes.

Last summer, he was signed to a one-year, two-way contract for the NHL league minimum. He attended the Sabres training camp. At the start of the season, the Green Valley resident was put on waivers, clearing them and then assigned to Rochester. Injury hampered his availability during the fall. However, when he returned to the ice, Elie made an immediate impact for the Sabres.

The team’s (and his) season came to an end in March, when the AHL season was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this summer, the remaining games and playoffs were cancelled.

While the Amerks were poised for an extended run in the post-season, standing second in the North Division at the season stoppage, the Sabres were a disappointment, finishing 25th of 31 teams in the NHL. Buffalo recently learned that the club would be one of seven that would not have a berth in the upcoming (expected?) NHL playoffs.

Twitter announcement
The Buffalo Sabres’ AHL affiliate Rochester Americans post on Twitter about major staffing changes for the NHL club.

On June 16, the Buffalo Sabres “announced the team has relieved Jason Botterill of his duties as general manager. Senior Vice-president of business administration Kevyn Adams has been named general manager” to replace Botterill.

From the announcement, attributed to owners Terry and Kim Pegula: “This decision was made after many candid discussions with Jason during a full review of our hockey operation. We recognized we have philosophical differences regarding how best to put ourselves in a position to compete for a Stanley Cup. So, we decided to make this change.”

On the naming of Adams to the post, the owners add that the staff will take the appropriate time to “reconfigure our hockey operations. We have the benefit of this long 2020 pause to take time to reorganize and re-energize our hockey department. We recognize the importance of this offseason with so many player decisions to be made.”

Ralph Krueger has been named to the post of head coach, with the organization’s entire coaching group of last season having been dismissed.

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