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Why Tim Murray Might Be His Own Worst Enemy Today

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.

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Tim Murray Trade Deadline

  • qwicwted

    I don’t think Murray is the horse trader Darcy was. Murray should have had a Halak deal in place once the Miller deal was consumated. With the injury to Scheifele, the Jets might be a new player in the game as they as a point or so out of the Wild Card. I also think Columbus is looking for some D.
    Still think Pitts needs a D-man and someone to play with Sid. While the rumors are that Pitts is in a bidding war with Philly over Kesler, I still see Moulson as a better fit for Sid. I think what will be interesting is where Vanek falls into play as I think Snow is overpricing him as I think Murray is overpricing Moulson and Halak.
    I noticed that Bflo picked up Cory Conacher – when I heard he was released by Ottawa I was wondering if Bflo would pick him up. May turn out to be a good move.

    • Mike Flynn

      I don’t think halak has much value would u just want him thrown away for a fourth rounder I’d rather sign him them trade him for nothing helpful

      • qwicwted

        I wasn’t saying that we should trade Halak away just to make a trade, but sometimes GM’s overvalue their players. I guess the best evidence of this is what Snow ended up getting for Vanek – not much. I’m not quite sure on the Halak for Neuvirth trade because it seems to me that the Klesla part of the deal was a salary dump. So, to me that this is more a “trade to make a trade” scenario.
        McNabb wasn’t fitting nor was he going to fit into Buffalo’s future – so I have no problem trading him for the prospects, but I wonder whether we overpaid for the two prospects with the additional 2 draft picks? Thing is, while they were ranked 8th and 10th in LA’s top 20 prospect pool, (McNabb was ranked #6 for Bflo), they still were drafted in the 3rd and 4th round. I guess if we were giving up McNabb and Mouslon for Toffoli I wouldn’t have had a problem with that. So, I’m kind of scratching my head on this one.
        The Moulson and McCormick trade to Minny – well I like Torrey Mitchell and we’ll have him for a few years and I think Murray did a good job getting the draft picks. In my mind, Minny is pretty stocked at LW and maybe Moulson is truely a “rental player”.
        The main thing is, between Murray and Darcy’s trades, Buffalo really doesn’t have too bad of a future. We have Stewart and Mitchell for a couple of years, some promising prospects and draft picks – augment that with signing a couple of UFA’s and things aren’t so bleak. Or maybe I should say…..the pain and suffering won’t be that long.

  • Dano

    Murray: Get SOMETHING for Halak. A second, a prospect.. a bag of pucks.. SOMETHING. What you have isnt gold plated!

    • Mike Flynn

      Murray wants a goalie nobody is ready to back up enroth in Rochester so u need someone to back enroth unless u want ewoke playing 65 plus games gotta have vets to balance the rookies.