Report: Sabres on verge of handing GM gig to Tim Murray

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The Buffalo Sabres are very close to naming Ottawa Senators assistant GM Tim Murray their new general manager, according to various reports.

(That news comes from both TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet’s John Shannon, though both emphasized that the two sides are still negotiating terms as of Tuesday night.)

Murray, 50, has been with the Senators since July 2007. His NHL experience stretches all the way back to his time as a Detroit Red Wings scout in 1993-94. Senators GM Bryan Murray is his uncle.

While Murray was named as the frontrunner, Boston Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning seemed to also be in the running as recently as Monday. The Sabres’ rights to chat up Benning expired today, however, according to McKenzie.

Grumblings among NHL execs

That window of negotiation points to a fascinating sub-story: NHL teams are complaining about the process in which rival teams interview (and sometimes poach) each others’ front office members. McKenzie reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Calgary Flames exec Brian Burke are among those who are pushing the hardest for compensation when it comes to losing front office members, yet it sounds like such an initative won’t move the needle with commissioner Gary Bettman.

In other words, don’t expect teams to pay in picks and money when a rising front office star is hired away (see: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers paying a ransom for Jon Gruden many moons ago).

That’s not to say that such distaste will have no impact on future movements, though, as McKenzie explains that NHL teams might not be as accommodating when it comes to the Flames’ own GM search.

Hey, maybe it will prompt Burke to say something sensational and angry again, though.