Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Poll: Was Tim Murray The Right Hire For the Buffalo Sabres?

Pat LaFontaine’s GM search has been one of the worst kept secrets as of late and the Buffalo Sabres are pretty good at keeping things secret. Remember when they fired Darcy Regier and Ron Rolston out of the blue in November? Very few saw that one coming. However the sources were all over the Buffalo Sabres hunt for a new GM not letting them keep this one in the dark, although LaFontaine did his best.

When news broke earlier this week that Tim Murray was the leading candidate for the job I was slightly disappointed. He wasn’t the guy I was hoping for and I was hoping deep down that the rumours on twitter were wrong and LaFontaine would pull a fast one and to some extent he did.

Tim Murray was hired as the GM as expected but the big surprise was the man hired alongside Murray to virtually act as the assistant

GM, Craig Patrick. The hiring of Craig Patrick may be the best hire the Sabres have made as of late as they continue to bolster their front office staff. Between Pat LaFontaine, Craig Patrick, Tim Murray and a few scouts the Sabres have a great foundation behind their rebuild.

So when I heard Murray was getting the job I wasn’t too impressed and wondered why LaFontaine let Jim Benning fall right between his fingers, but my opinion quickly changed. Not much was known about Murray and for the most part no one in Buffalo had ever heard Murray speak, but the way he handled himself at his press conference said everything fans needed to hear.

Murray is a straight shooter who seems to have a plan set and isn’t going to take any kind of crap from anyone- not even the Buffalo News. Murray seems to be the perfect guy for a rebuilding and reeling Buffalo Sabres squad.

There were a few comments from Murray that really stood out to me;

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

I could not agree with this statement much more. You build a team mainly though the draft, trading and signing players through free agency is great to add pieces to the puzzle, but you build the core of your team through the draft. The Sabres rebuilding path is going straight to the draft and Murray seems to be on board with that strategy.

“This team is in last place, everyone can be traded”

Obviously this was a statement to a question Murray wasn’t pleased with but it speaks to where he’s at right now on day one in Buffalo. This is a last place team and if they want to find success they have to explore every avenue, no body on this team is safe and the Sabres need to start playing that way.

“If you have more 4th liners than 1st liners, than you have to make a move.”

I hate to say it but the Buffalo Sabres are a team comprised of a bunch of third and fourth line guys, even Cody Hodgson-right now would have a tough time cracking a 3rd line centre job on most teams. I mean the Sabres have Tyler Ennis centring the first line… Tyler Ennis? The Sabres have 2.5 lines full of 3rd and 4th line players, it’s time to bring some real talent to Buffalo and Tim Murray is the right man for the job.

He’s an honest straight shooting guy on a mission. He’s got a team full of young promising prospects and another draft to add to that young, promising core. He needs to surround Nikita Zadorov, Rasmus Ristolainen, Zemgus Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko with strong young players who will all work for the future together.

What do you think of the Murray hiring? Was he the right guy for the GM job or were you hoping for someone else? Start the Tim Murray debate in the comments after you vote.

Was Tim Murray the Right Guy

View Results

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Tim Murray

  • JHizzle75

    It’s only been one day CC !!!!

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I know but people will already have opinions on Tim Murray

  • Kevin

    Frankly, I didn’t know much about either guy. However, after all the reading and listening to all sources, including outside of the team, I feel Sabres did hire the right guy. But, then again we may have said the same thing if Benning was hired. The tell will be further down the road. He has a chance to become the “The Man” and clean the place up. Or fail. But we won’t know any of that yet. Maybe the trade deadline and the Draft will clue us in to what his talents are.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Exactly the real tell won’t come for another 2-3 years once we see where he takes the Sabres, but for now he’s talking the talk and seems to be the guy.
      Very excited to see how he handles the trade deadline

  • wolfdoctor

    He wants to be drafting near the top this year as well as next year. He gets it. He’s the right guy, so far.

    • Jes

      Yup that’s exactly my thought process as well wolfie. I’m glad he used my philosophy and many others on this site as well. There will be a few signings in the summer I believe but nothing to drastic. He knows McDavid and Eichel are franchise changing players.

      • wolfdoctor

        Just another note on this subject. Miller should be traded ASAP. This will ensure that the team gets a top 2 pick this year. Edmonton and Calgary are closing in on being the worst, IMO.

        • Jes

          Yup. They should’ve traded him earlier in the season. I think trading Moulson is a must also. Resign Ott.

          • Caitlin Campbell

            you want to trade Moulson? I’d keep him IMO

          • Jes

            Well if it were up to me he’d stay. But again the guy is in his 30′s and will be fielding offers from Cup contenders and playoff contenders. He will test free agency IMO. Hell I would if I was a regular 30 goal scorer over 30 years of age without no Cup.

          • Rob Dotzler

            I concede Jes’s point, however; I’m in complete agreement with CC. Sign Moulson, his heart is in the game, I rarely see him taking time off during play and the guy has skills. We’d be stupid to let him go and not add others to the roster asap, while we have the assets to make the changes. We can get better fast if we try and next year could be a big turn around, but action is needed. This could prove if Murray was the right choice without having to wait forever to see results.

        • JHizzle75

          It will also give us a top 5 pick next year, and the year after, and the year after..etc. The goalie is the most important player on any team, and without Miller we will be the next Oilers. They are fun to watch, I’ll give you that.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      Exactly- he gets it, he gets where and what the Buffalo Sabres are trying to do and LaFontiane made a smart hire IMO

      • Rob Dotzler

        First, and most importantly the Sabres are an American team. We utilize “centers” here. “Centre” is an improperly spelled word, ask anyone here. Second, great article, again Caitlin, and my first point was just tongue in cheek. I’m sure half the staff of the Sabres (also spelled wrong for a yank) spell it the same way. I agreed for the most part with all of your points, though I was relegated to the second place voting slot.

        I’m a bit surprised with how many are ready to accept him immediately. You’d think after all the disappointments here, there’d be a higher level of skepticism, but this community is inundated with a population of extreme optimists and will always continue to have faith, whether either major league team deserves it or not. In fact, that’s why it’s such a great reason to be a part of this community. I see all the vitriol by the trolls of other fan bases and know, they just don’t come from a community of kind hearted, decent folks. I can think of a half dozen of these communities in our conference in a flash. Sports used to be filled with fans that believed in sportsmanship. Not so much these days. It’s like sports equates to politics on this level now. Just something to think about.

        I’ll take the leap and have some hope in Murray, but I’ll also not be willing to accept another 16 year run with 2 good runs, but nothing to show for it overall. If he tanks after 3 years with all he has to work with, Patty better dump his rear end on a small boat with a paddle and a compass to find his way back north.

        • Dano

          Your comments fall in line with a lot and can explain exactly ‘ why ‘ the Sabres became as they are.

          “I’m a bit surprised with how many are ready to accept him immediately. You’d think after all the disappointments here, there’d be a higher level of skepticism.. ”

          Then followed it on with :

          “It’s like sports equates to politics on this level now. Just something to think about.”

          We were all told certain things in the U.S. from some people. They turned out to be blatant lies. People LIKED hearing what was said. It reflected what those people were saying and they jumped for joy when ‘ their guy ‘ was put on top.

          Murray ( and MANY of the other candidates ) had ‘ pedigrees ‘ that were never on par with being a full time G.M. . Some were ( are ) Assistant GM’s but have never been the ‘ whole package ‘.

          To be hired and in the same day before even evaluating anything, to come out with an immediate implementation of a ‘ solution ‘.. Its either visionary or ludicrous.

          Instead of leaving an open door to all possibilities, hes already determined what hes going to do. Its working quite well in Edmonton, isnt it?

          Thats the part people need to take a long hard look at and why I question weather or not the right person was selected.

          Can he be the right person? Sure! Can he also be the worst possible candidate of those whom were also considered ( Ehem.. Benning! )? Sure!

          I’ll keep an open mind for now.

          If in a couple years things are looking like Edmonton v2.0.. So be it. If they are winning more and progressing, that would be even better.

          • Rob Dotzler

            My only point about politics is that the rhetoric has become venomous. Politics used to fascinate me and now it just makes my stomach turn. I don’t want that to happen to my sports as well. Anyhow, I tend to agree with your point “To be hired and in the same day before even evaluating anything, to come out with an immediate implementation of a ‘ solution ‘.. Its either visionary or ludicrous.”. But, to me, after all these years of mostly minor moves, it does give me some level of anticipation. though I expect to be disappointed as the “new guy” on the block, he’s likely to be taken advantage of. That worries me. But, I still choose to be optimistic at this point. We’ll see what happens soon enough.

  • Jes

    Good choice. Didn’t like it before because of the past of the Sens and the Ryan trade. But seems to me he will head this rebuild in the right direction. Not just throwing money around. Finding the right players through the draft and then adding those cagey veterans to the lineup.

    • Caitlin Campbell

      I agree I think he’s going to lead this team in the right direction through the rebuild. I feel like LaFontaine took the search seriously and found the right guy

  • Justin Tosczak

    I can see him getting rid if Grigorenko relatively quickly.. hopefully in a package deal with Leino to Ottawa.. Just my guess, but he doesn’t mess around when it comes to facing his problems.. He faces them head on, which is the biggest thing I like about him.