New Sabres GM Murray: ‘I don’t want a five-year rebuild’


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 “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.”

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.