I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t envy the position Tim Murray is in as the new general manager of the Buffalo Sabres. He joined the Sabres at an interesting time with the franchise taking the first hammer to the wall and entering down the rebuilding path. Now Murray is in charge at the 2014 Trade Deadline and he’s under a lot of pressure to land picks and prospects for the rebuild. However, he is now down to the wire and doesn’t have the luxury he may have had a week ago.
While players like Christian Ehrhoff, Drew Stafford and Tyler Ennis don’t need to dealt by today at three, Murray has a few players that do need to be dealt today. Matt Moulson, Jaroslav Halak are both upcoming UFA’s who are likely to move on after this season and both were acquired through trades of former franchise players with the hope of flipping them for more.
In addition to trading away upcoming free agents, Murray wants to prove that he has what it takes to be an NHL GM and
lead a team through a rebuild despite being in his first go around as an NHL GM. What that means is Murray doesn’t want to get taken for any of his assets at the deadline, however that’s working against him right now.
It’s still early in the day and teams do want Moulson, however if Murray doesn’t start to lower his prices to something realistic he’s going to get stuck with players who could have easily been dealt.
The perfect example of this is Jaroslav Halak who’s market is already drying up. The entire Ryan Miller trade hinges on the Sabres ability to flip Halak for something else or they lose both Halak and the Miller trade. The Sabres already lost what was believed to be their best trading partner in the Minnesota Wild who instead acquired Ilya Bryzgalov. The reason the Wild went in a different direction? The Buffalo Sabres were asking the “moon” in exchange for Halak.
The Los Angeles Kings also appear to be heading in a different direction with Marian Gaborik over Moulson.
I get that you have to have a high asking price, however Tim Murray is on his way to pricing himself out of the trade deadline market by asking for top prospects such as Tyler Toffoli and Charlie Coyle. It’s great to aim high but if Murray doesn’t budge he may find his phone stops ringing.