Though he’s only been on the job a couple of weeks, Tim Murray already has a clear goal for how he wants to fix the Sabres.
“My mandate here is to get better,” he said, per ESPN.com. “I don’t want a five-year rebuild, that’s not what I’m about.”
It’s an interesting approach, especially given Murray’s background. Regarded as one of the driving forces behind a number of key drafts in Ottawa — he was GM Bryan Murray’s assistant for six years — Murray has developed a reputation as someone that can identify talent and manage the grooming/development side of things.
But, obviously, that process takes time.
Ottawa’s quality drafts of 2007-08 (which netted Erik Karlsson, Jared Cowen, Zack Smith, Patrick Wiercioch, Jakob Silfverberg and Robin Lehner, to name a few) took a while to materialize at the NHL level and, in certain cases, still is materializing.
On paper, the Sabres could go a similar route. They have a ton of young prospects already (Joel Armia, Mikhail Grigorenko, Zemgus Girgensons, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov) and several top-60 picks at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. They could get even more by dealing the likes of Ryan Miller, Steve Ott and Matt Moulson.
But to hear Murray explain it, any future trades could return players closer to making an impact in Buffalo, rather than in junior or with AHL Rochester.
“It’s about getting better,” he explained. “If that means trading guys and getting assets for them, then that’s the way it will be.”