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.