Sabres GM takes blame for lack of ‘stud defenseman,’ talks expansion draft

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Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray occasionally gets grief on social media about seemingly being a bit awkward with the media, but he provided all sorts of interesting nuggets to WGR 550’S “Schopp and the Bulldog” on Tuesday.

Some of the most interesting commentary revolved around how the Sabres are handling the expansion draft and why Murray believes the team hasn’t taken that next step into the postseason yet.

“We haven’t been able to pick that stud defenseman yet and that falls right on me and on the scouting staff that’s under me,” Murray said.

Going further, he stated that he believed Buffalo boasted a blueline good enough to make the playoffs, but maybe not contend for a Stanley Cup. Interestingly, he pointed to the acquisition of Dmitri Kulikov as a particular disappointment.

(Kulikov’s contract is expiring, so that might explain why he was willing to be so frank about the blueliner falling short of expectations as a “top-three” defenseman.)

Speaking of defensemen, Murray acknowledged that he’ll most likely protect three blueliners and seven forwards for the expansion draft. His comment about GM George McPhee not prying loose a key player is worth a chuckle:

Almost sounds a little seedy, maybe even some hockey espionage, even?

Anyway, WGR 550 has more if you want further insight from the Sabres’ GM.