Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Search for the Next Buffalo Sabres GM: Tim Murray

What originally was supposed to take as little as two weeks has turned into a situation that may last the remainder of the 2013-2014 NHL season as Pat LaFontaine searches for someone to take over the vacant GM spot. The reports coming out now are that LaFontaine is in no rush to name a GM and will handle this season himself, but if that’s true then why did he turn down the GM job when it was offered to him?

To thicken the plot, LaFontaine has reportedly not spoken with Jason Botterill, the Pittsburgh Penguins assistant GM, who was thought to be one of the leading candidates. A new name that has surfaced is Tim Murray of the Ottawa Senators. Before you get too carried away, Tim Murray is the assistant GM with the Senators, not to be confused with Bryan Murray the GM of the Senators.

Tim Murray seems to be a fairly serious candidate as the Buffalo Sabres have been granted permission to speak with him. So who is the lesser known Murray in Ottawa? Well I’m glad you asked and yes the two Murray’s are related.

Tim Murray has been working as the assistant GM with the Senators since 2007 and alongside his uncle Bryan has managed to turn the Ottawa Senators into a competitive team through the draft. The younger Murray plays a large part in the drafting system and keeps a close eye on the Senators AHL team in which he is the GM of.

Murray steered the Binghamton Senators to a Calder Championship in 2011 and is credited for the drafting of Erik Karlsson, but there are some knocks against the Murray tag team in Ottawa.

The first knock you have to address is the situation around former captain Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson was beloved by the fans and the community of Otttawa and seemed to have dedicated his career and heart to the team. But money and taking advantage of your stars can come back to bite you and the Senators are the perfect example of this. Alfredsson felt he wasn’t getting a fair deal with his team and decided to head out of town where he would be more appreciated.

I don’t care how old Alfredsson is, or that he was planning on retiring, you don’t low ball a guy like that. Alfredsson has always been pure class for the organization and the fans. He dedicated 18 years of his career to Ottawa, won the Calder Trophy and holds many team records. He basically became the face of the franchise and gave the fans something to fall in love with. He also groomed Jason Spezza and helped mold him into the player he is today. There is no way you let a guy like that just walk from your organization because you won’t pay him the money.

Next you turn to the Bobby Ryan trade. While it’s great to land a player like Bobby Ryan who helps bolster your offence, what the Senators gave up for Ryan left a lot of people wondering if it was the right move. There are still people who are scratching their heads over the Ryan deal and it’s left a sour taste for a lot of fans.

So while the Senators are doing alright on the ice- or at least better than the Sabres- and Tim Murray has a great eye for junior talent and drafting, there are a few organizational blimps which make you wonder about the kind of guy/GM Murray is. He doesn’t have a Stanley Cup in which LaFontaine is looking for and most importantly will he be able to match the chemistry that LaFontaine, Terry Pegula and Ted Nolan have formed?

What do you think of the possibility of adding Tim Murray as the new Buffalo Sabres GM?

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