Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray Had Chances To Get Rid Of Ted Nolan


The Buffalo Sabres have one major hurdle between them and the best chances at the first or second overall draft pick in this years NHL Entry Draft.  Ted Nolan.  Like him or not, the village motivator is getting

The further we get towards the end of the regular season, and the way comments are being made, it is becoming apparent that Ted Nolan does not have a future with this organization as head coach.  That means he, just like his players are playing for a possible future in the National Hockey League.  If he can prove to other teams that he has the ability to win in the NHL, he might get picked up somewhere else.

Tim Murray has been battling the “tank” opinion all year long.  He will tell the media that he ins’t trying to lose on purpose, and is only using what he has to do to put a winning team on the ice next year.

With the NHL schedule playing into the hands of the Arizona Coyotes, probably the Sabres biggest threat at landing in the 30th overall spot, Tim Murray is short on anything he can do to help his team get in the best possible position for himself on draft day.

Firing Ted Nolan at any point after the trade deadline was a sure fire sign that Tim Murray is only interested in one thing this season.  GM Tim Murray however, had several chances this year to put his coach behind the bench, someone who is in on the secret hand shake of what is taking place this year – without it looking like a flat out tank move.

Buffalo Sabres Hire Tim Murray

Of course this couldn’t happen this year, and maybe at the time Ted Nolan thought that things were going to play out differently.  When the Buffalo Sabres first brought Tim Murray into the position was the best time as any to bring about the coaching change that would have given Murray more control over the on ice product.

It wouldn’t have looked weird at all for that to happen, because Ted Nolan was not a Tim Murray hire, or even his guy on the inside.

Buffalo Sabres First Full Off Season Under Tim Murray

The Buffalo Sabres had a complete off season for Tim Murray to formulate his plan of attack for the 2014-2015 regular season.  That would have been opportunity number two.

Moving away from Ted Nolan in the off-season was probably the safest bet for Tim Murray to bring in a coach that would be in on the plan to ensure that the owner of the Buffalo Sabres got what he wanted, Connor McDavid or the 2015 Consolation Prize, Jack Eichel.

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All year long Tim Murray would have had the nudge-nudge wink-wink control over what players he had field the on-ice product all year.  Insert goalie name here (Jhonas Enroth, Michal Neuvirth, Anders Lindback) playing to well?  He needs a rest or a maintenance day.  Problem solved and Tim Murray doesn’t look like the GM that is telling his coach what players to use, because the deal was made behind the scenes.

Buffalo Sabres Losing January

Remember January?  Yeah I tried to forget it to.  Massive amounts of snow and cold, and record low temperatures that only got worse as February rolled around.

The other reason you probably want to forget it is because the Buffalo Sabres didn’t win a game the entire month.  In fact the Sabres didn’t even muster a loser point in the entire month of January.

Tim Murray’s biggest cover story could have been removing Ted Nolan as the coach of the Buffalo Sabres because the team didn’t win a game in January (never mind the fact that they have only won six times since January in 20 chances).

The guy you bring in doesn’t have to be better, or even the same.  He could have been worse, because you could have operated under the guise of the guys trying to learn a new system and, it’s going to take time for the new coach to learn the players and figure out what is going on.

Let’s face it, I am nervous about losing the chance at the number one or the number two pick.  I have not been a proponent of the “tank”, but reality is, if you have been this bad all year, you might as well mail it in and get the pick at this point.  A valiant run to 27th or 26th overall gets you nothing more than the right to say that our guys never gave up and battled right until the end.

Tim Murray had his chances to get rid of Nolan along the way without making the tank look apparent.  Maybe he only has himself to blame if he ends up picking outside of the top two.

I will be disappointed if the Sabres don’t get either McDavid or Eichel.  Come the end of the year, the only thing that I want to be disappointed about is not having enough Fan Advantage points to get a few free golf tees.

Next: SabreNoise Round Table - Ted Nolan

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