Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Murray Hired As Buffalo Sabres GM

Pat LaFontaine’s search for the next general manager of the Buffalo Sabres has finally come to an end. A search that began in mid November and was projected to take a couple of weeks is finally coming to an end January 9th 2014. Mark this date down Sabres fans, the Sabres have a general manager who is not Darcy Regier. Instead the 7th GM of the Buffalo Sabres will be Tim Murray from the Ottawa Senators.

Tim Murray has been working as the assistant GM for the Ottawa Senators under his uncle Bryan Murray since 2007. He also operated as the GM for the Senators AHL team and was responsible for leading them to a Calder Championship in 2011. This will be Murray’s first stint as GM for any NHL team where he will have the final say and complete control over things beyond drafting and scouting.

Joining Tim Murray as the GM of the Sabres is Hall Of Famer Craig Patrick of the Columbus Blue Jackets who will be the special assistant and advisor to the hockey department. Patrick will operate as Tim Murray’s assistant general manager and is the former assistant GM and assistant coach of the 1980 US Miracle ice hockey team.

“I wanted to find the right fit for this organization” ~ Pat LaFontaine

Murray will have a month before the Olympic break to evaluate the Buffalo Sabres and determine what needs to be done ahead of the

March 5th trade deadline, where he will be watched closely as fans and the hockey world wait to see what happens to Ryan Miller, Steve Ott and Matt Moulson.

Tim Murray beat out 10 other candidates on way to claiming the GM job and was one of the finalists alongside Boston Bruins Jim Benning. Benning was thought to be the front-runner until the Bruins got upset with LaFontaine’s time frame and pulled Benning off the table. Once Benning was gone the spotlight quickly moved to Murray and within 2 days he met with Terry Pegula and became the Buffalo Sabres GM.

One could expect a little bit of down time after the announcement today as Murray looks to put the breaks on a downwardly spiralling hockey team. After talking today, Murray could go quite right up until the trade deadline when he sees an opening to move players and make the team better.

Murray has a good reputation for drafting players and developing prospects which is exactly what the Sabres need going forward through the rebuild. Can he get Mikhail Grigorenko back on track? The Sabres have a plethora of draft picks coming up and having someone like Murray at the helm may help to ensure the Sabres get the right guys. Murray is also said to have a keen eye for evaluating talent;

““He’s a very, very smart hockey man. There’s no one I’ve ever met that knows players as well as Tim and can analyze their strengths and weaknesses. He’s very good at projecting players.” ~ Cory Clouston WHL coach who knows Murray. Quote from John Vogl.

With Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons, Nikita Zadorov and Mark Pysyk all on the verge of steady NHL careers with the Sabres, having Murray around to evaluate Sabres prospects will be crucial going forward with so many young players and prospects.

While Murray doesn’t have a Stanley Cup ring, his three years scouting for the Anaheim Ducks took him to the Stanley Cup Finals. Murray has been in the NHL since 1994 beginning as a scout and has worked his way up to assistant general manager, becoming a GM was the next logical step for Tim Murray.

During his press conference Tim Murray stressed how he needs to be patient and evaluate the talent but that no one is safe on a 30th placed team. He seems like an honest upfront GM who will get straight down to business looking for ways to improve the Buffalo Sabres. While the product on the ice isn’t the greatest, the Buffalo Sabres have one of the best hockey operation teams in the league and that’s a great start for rebuilding a team.

What do you think of the Tim Murray hiring?

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Gm Tim Murray

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  • Jes

    Good read CC. He obviously wasn’t number one on many lists but he seems like he knows what he’s talking about. I liked how he buckled up when asked about the Bobby Ryan trade. Seems like he was not on board with it with his reaction anyway. I also like the fact he said he’s somewhat aggressive. So basically there won’t be any quick thinking trades like what Burke pulls off. But again he will be aggressive, like he and basically every other GM says if there is a chance to improve your team, you do it.

    Hopefully the trade of Miller follows soon and I see the interim tag on Nolan lifted within the next couple of weeks.

    • Sean McGrath

      Both Murray and LaFontaine have expressed that they want Ryan Miller to stay as long as he wants to stay. I think Buffalo is on the right rebound and Miller will want to see this out

      • Caitlin Campbell

        I’m with Sean on this one- I think if Miller wants to stay he’s staying.

      • Jes

        Just because they express the interest in resigning Miller doesn’t mean Miller is interested in resigning with them. I can hundreds of free agents that the team showed interest in resigning but the player was unwilling to resign and wants a change. Unless Sabres make a trade for a big time player before the deadline Miller is as good as gone. IMO he left when he put his house up for sale. He wants to be closer to his wife. Hello ANAHEIM!! All the Miller homers got to get a grasp on that.

        On the outside chance he may sign with us in the summer after he fields some offers from other teams that he does not like. But he will be testing free agency that is a given.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      It’s funny you bring up Burke when talking about Murray- I see Murray as a Burke type. He takes no crap from the media, is a straight shooter and will do everything he can to improve his team. Burke wasn’t afraid to make mistakes and Murray isn’t either. If we couldn’t get Burke I’m glad we got Murray

      • Jes

        Actually the grumpiness towards reporters seems like the only thing Burke and Murray have in common.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          I think you’ll be surprised he’s a Burke type. Straight shooter and very honest with his opinion. He’ll also know what he can get when trading. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him steal a few trades early on

          • Jes

            Ya exactly. Personality is the only way you can compare him to Burke though.

  • Paul Kreischer

    Murray is a very good choice at the right time for the Sabres. Adding Craig Patrick was another fantastic move. Two great minds who could build the Sabres up for a long future.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I was completely floored by the Patrick move but am very excited now that he’s here as well. Sabres have one of the best front office staff around.

      • Jes

        Well I wouldn’t go that far yet. Murray is inexperienced at best. A year from now you can make that notion.

        • Caitlin Campbell

          He may be inexperienced GM wise but he’s not inexperienced hockey wise. He’s been around long anough to tell whats what and is going to handle the Sabres with training gloves. He’s going all out and he’ll have a fantastic AGM in Patrick and another hockey mind in LaFontaine to consult with

          • Jes

            Patrick was a great assistant GM does this mean Devine was demoted? I wasn’t quite sure what his actual position was other then head of scouting. I thought he was assistant the way he was handling the draft.

      • [email protected]

        Looking over some info on Craig Patrick, he had done some great things management-wise in his career, but his success dwindled later on. Was it because the NHL has evolved or was it the financial situation in Pittsburg handcuffing him? I still think it is great for Murray to have a guy with his kind of hockey pedigree to provide some support, don’t get me wrong.

  • Jes

    “You build a team through the draft. Good drafting allows you to trade well…you use free agency to put you over the top.”

    I loved this part of the interview. It shows that Murray is on the same boat as me. Build through the draft and once things turn around you add those cagey veterans to put you through the top.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      This part- among others- showed me that Murray was the right guy. He’s got a plan, and a goal and will go about knowing how to achieve that goal. He knows what he’s doing and LaFontaine appears to have made the right move for the time being.

      • Jes

        Yup that was one of the best parts. It’s funny how some people were contradicting me when I said build through the draft and when we start to turn things around we add those cagey vets and now a GM who shares the same philosophy as me steps in and takes over. I am one happy customer. Woooooohoooo!!!

        • Caitlin Campbell

          Uh-Oh a team run by Jes?

          • Jes

            Lol awesome CC!!

          • [email protected]

            Myers would be the highest paid player in the NHL if that was the case!!!

  • Dano

    Chalk this up as a ‘ wait and see ‘ what will happen.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      for sure we can debate but we wont know for a little while perhaps even a couple of seasons.

      • Dano

        The new guy has to clean up Darcy’s half decade of a mess. He has to find the right staff and coaches for what he wishes to do. He has a slew of people on the roster and in Rochester he has to go through and figure out who is staying, whos going, whom needs further evaluation..

        I think its going to take at least 3 years for him to settle in and try to get something done. Not Just Murray, but ANYONE whom would have been chosen as GM.

        So long as the team stays on the present pace ( not like the beginning of the year ) and improves, thats about all anyone can honestly ask for.

  • qwicwted

    I like some of the things Murray said – about players are available for offers. But while I do believe in building up a team through the draft, I think you need a combination of veterans and youth. We’ve seen teams build through the draft in Edmonton and it just doesn’t seem to be working out. Its nice to say you augment your team with free agents, but Buffalo is in a different type of situation – we can’t rely on attracting UFAs to take us over the top. So, what we need is our GM to think outside the box – meaning, make some trades for players that have no restrictions on their contracts and have a few years left – a la Pavelski, Stewart, Dubinsky, Stepan, Kane to name a few. I do like the addition of Craig Patrick as I think these are all positives for the club. I also think once you get a guy to play in Buffalo for a bit, they do see the positives. Moulson is one who I never thought would say he would consider staying – especially after the way he was treated by Rolston – so that is something to build upon. Anyway, its a good step and we’ll see what happens.

    • [email protected]

      The last thing I want to see happen is Miller being traded for picks and prospects. We can’t rely on having a team primarily built of young, inexperienced players. I want to see Moulson stay, go out and find a guy who can bring out his skill. I agree 100% on vet + youth mix for a proper “rebuild” to succeed.

      Also, they need to buy out Leino’s contract…

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