The Buffalo Sabres fired head coach Don Granato after a disappointing 2023-2024 season, which saw them regress from the year before, in which they missed the playoffs by one point, and general manager Kevyn Adams got real about the disappointing year, saying that his team might have come into the year with too much arrogance.

“We should have never had any sort of arrogance coming out of our locker room. We haven't done anything,” Kevyn Adams said, via Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News. “… We haven't earned the respect in the league yet.”

There is some concern amongst the Sabres fanbase that owners Terry and Kim Pegula are more concerned with what is going with the Buffalo Bills than the hockey team that they own, but Adams said that is not the case.

“Terry Pegula watches closely, talks to me every day, has strong opinions on what he sees and we have great conversations,” Adams said, via Harrington. “Do not take the lack of necessarily you seeing him in a press box as a sign of anything. He is dealing with personal matters, OK? That's important to know. … He is engaged, he wants this team to win, he wants to have success, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to win. And that has never changed from the moment I've met Terry Pegula. He has given me every possible resource that he has to help this team — and help the city, by the way.”

When asked about the Sabres' disappointing season and the reason why, Adams took full responsibility.

“I need to be better,” Adams said, via Harrington. “It's on me. I'm the leader, and I will be.”

Adams has been the general manager of the Sabres since 2020, and the team has failed to break the playoff drought that dates back to 2011, the longest in the NHL. In 2022-2023, the Sabres narrowly missed the playoffs, and this was supposed to be the year they took the next step, but they regressed instead.

Why did the Sabres regress in 2023-2024?

When looking at the main reason the Sabres regressed in 2023-2024, the player that sticks out the most is Tage Thompson. He is signed to a seven-year contract that pays him just over $7 million a year. In 2022-2023, Tage Thompson put up 47 goals and 47 assists for a career-high 94 points, and he was viewed as one of the young centerpieces of the Sabres.

This season, Thompson put up 29 goals and 27 assists for 56 points, a stark drop off in production. The Sabres and Adams are betting on him being at least close to the point-per-game threshold. In 71 games this season, he did not get close.

Adams' biggest move this offseason will be to hire a new coach that will maximize the talent that is present on teh Sabres' roster.