Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo Sabres Narrowing Down GM Search

With Pat LaFontaine getting ready to name the next Buffalo Sabres general manager in early 2014, the long search finally seems to be wrapping up as two candidates have emerged as favourites.

The two favourites are reportedly Jim Benning who is the assistant GM with the Boston Bruins and Tim Murray who is the assistant GM with the Ottawa Senators.

Jim Benning has long been thought of as the favourite to become the next GM of the Buffalo Sabres, but LaFontaine is quite intrigued by Tim Murray.



Tim Murray is ready to move out of the shadow and into the spotlight as a General Manager but, the job in Ottawa isn’t opening up

anytime in the near future, so as a result, he has emerged as the number one candidate for the Sabres GM job.

Neither candidate has any experience being a GM in the NHL as they both operate in the shadow’s of their bosses, but both have experience managing AHL teams in addition to their scouting roles with their respective NHL clubs.

Benning has the experience with the Buffalo Sabres as he operated as the director of amateur scouting and was responsible for setting up the last Buffalo Sabres core of Derek Roy, Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek. While Murray doesn’t have ties to the Sabres he has done a solid job drafting as of late for the Ottawa Senators who surprised everyone last year with their strong play.

Both candidates are ready to become GM’s and would work for the Buffalo Sabres as they look to rebuild and utilize their plethora of draft picks, but only one can be named. As little as two days ago it was said Jim Benning was the favourite with his ties to the Sabres, but today that momentum has swung to Tim Murray’s side.

While I don’t have the exact quote from Doug MaCLean this was just announced on Hockey Central today.


The decision is expected to come within the next couple of weeks and I’m sure the momentum will flip many times before the official announcement is made, but the two frontrunners seem to be Tim Murray and Jim Benning. Which candidate would you prefer as the next Buffalo Sabres GM?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres GM Search Jim Benning Tim Murray

  • Dano

    Id rather Benning then Murray.

    • Caitlin Campbell


  • Thomas Eric

    Brian Burke! Hahaha

    • Caitlin Campbell

      unfortunetly he’s not in the running

    • Jes

      Lol ya he was never in the running.

  • Ray Rome

    Is Lafontaine taking so long to name a GM because hes testing the waters and seeing if he can pull off a trade or two, possibly feeling things out for a position he will eventually take over? I understand this is an important decision but I think more than enough time has passed to make a decision on a GM. I would expect the new GM would need as much time as he can get to talk contracts and set up trades before the deadline.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I have always believed that LaFontaine was interested in the GM job himself…. which is why I think it’s taken so long but I think there’s been a lot of presure on him to name a new GM.

      • Jes

        Me to cc. I think he’s trying to just take it for a test drive and decided it wasn’t for him. Like only moves he’s technically made are for AHLers or bottom 3 guys. So I wouldn’t have any faith in him if he were to name himself GM.

  • Jes

    Giving the GM job to Murray would be a mistake IMO. Ya sure he’s had a couple good drafts here and there but in all honesty the Sens have been a win here or a win there type of team. Nothing too impressive. I will give him this though he’s got the drafting thing on his side. Which would be a plus for us.

    Top candidates should be Benning, Futa and Botterill Murray IMO shouldn’t even be in the top 3.

    On Benning’s side of things, look at how well that team is put together. Coaching staff all the way to players are a winning type of mentality.

    But whatever happens, happens.

    • Jes

      Also like to add that I am getting some nice feedback about Murray from people on other boards that are Sens fan. Mainly on TSN. A lot of them want to force Bryan to retire and have Tim take over as permanent GM.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I think you’ll like the piece I’m working on right now then Jes. IMO Benning is the guy for the job

      • Jes

        Look forward to it CC.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Thanks for the support Jes!

  • Ryan Boorum

    Let’s be real, Pierre McGuire is always the solution….AHAH but on a real note when all this started back on Nov. 13 I heard that strange feeling that Shanahan would be considered seeing that him and Pat both worked for the NHL offices, I don’t what I was thinking, but that would bring instant credibility to the organization him him at the helm right?

    • Dano

      Can a GM suspend/fine his players? ;) If not, he would become bored with the job really quick.

      • Caitlin Campbell

        hahah imagine Shanahan just suspending guys at random- that could be interesting for like a week- after that we’d run him out of town

    • Jes


    • JHizzle75

      I want some of what you’re smoking….

  • Joe

    If murray gets the job i womt be happy as jes stated wat has ottowa done in the past several years? Nothing besides draft karlson

    • Caitlin Campbell

      My first choice for the job was Botterill but I was satisfied with Benning, but not a fan of Murray

  • davidmuscalo

    Benning would be my second choice after John Davidson. Since John isn’t in the running, I reluctantly go with Benning since having a GM is usually better than having no GM. To put it another way, none of the proposed candidates really impress me, but since Benning has a Buffalo connection and he is a member of a very successful management team, he gets may vote.