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‘Evaluating is everything in our game’ — Sabres hire Murray as new GM

Jan 9, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT

Tim Murray Getty Images

“Evaluating is everything in our game.”

Those were the words of new Sabres general manager Tim Murray, introduced at a press conference this morning in Buffalo.

Lauded as one of the top talent evaluators in the game, it was no surprise to hear Murray accentuate the importance of what’s considered his best strength.

“We judge every day, and you want to make better judgments every day versus making poor judgments,” said Murray.

“My background is in scouting. I’ve done a lot of different managerial jobs, as far as contracts and stuff like that, but the main thing is evaluating players, being able to project players, being able to understand what constitutes a good trade, an average trade, or a bad trade.”

He added: “I believe having a pretty good eye has set me up to get into this position right now.”

It’s also no surprise that a candidate with Murray’s credentials (most recently the assistant GM in Ottawa) was given the job by president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine. Going forward, the draft will be paramount for the last-place Sabres. Expect some trades, too. Which is to say, there will be all sorts of roster turnover. Who should they get? Who should they keep? To answer those questions successfully, a good talent evaluator will be required.

Other key quotes from Murray today:

On player development: “You can draft a guy in the first round. If you don’t develop him right…you can lose him. The other side is, you can draft a guy in the fifth round and if he’s developed right and you do all the right things, he could become a player.”

On the future of head coach Ted Nolan: “There’s no preconceived notions. He’s the coach of the hockey team and I’m looking forward to getting to know him, getting to know the staff, and getting to know the style of coaches they are and the style they want to play. I have ideas. Pat has ideas. It’s a clean slate here.”

On the team’s pending unrestricted free agents, like goalie Ryan Miller: “This team’s in last place right now. Everybody could be traded.”

On the importance of the draft: “You build a team through the draft. Good drafting allows you to trade well, and then you use free agency to put you over the top.”

Following is the audio from today’s presser:

The Sabres also hired Craig Patrick to serve as a special assistant and advisor to the hockey department.

Related: Sabres promote Cunneyworth to player development coach

  1. lilroot9 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    As a Sabres fan, I like what Tim believes creates a winning team, drafting and developing players. At this point, the Sabres need to continue hitting here, and maybe he has “inside” knowledge of what others teams want and are willing to part with (and maybe their rough value). I expect 2-3 trades if not more (depending on who resigns with Sabres) before the trading deadline.

    Seems like a guy who won’t give away a player, so that is good (one thing I liked about Darcy), but hopefully he understands when I player needs to be moved, and pick up some players flying under the radar as well.

    Future looks bright, but when will it start shinning? I think another year or two at the least.

    • c9castine - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      id say this year is all about hoarding draft picks, as high as you can get them, while keeping a couple pieces like tyler myers, and matt mouslon. id deal off hodsgon, no knock against him, and anything else they got worth a damn including grigorenko. he was a bum at the WJCs. loads of talent but i don’t think he’s gonna reach his potential.

      they might be a year too early or they could get mcdavid in the draft. then again they might still be terrible next year so.

      • mehetmet - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        didn’t Grigorenko have like 5G 3A or something during the 6 or 7 game tourney? I’d hardly call that “bum” status during it.

      • c9castine - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:28 PM

        with his talent level and amount of NHL games played he should have been a bigger difference maker in a teenage tournament. Guys calling the games were saying the same thing…just not showing the workmanship that would make him a big time player.

  2. savior72 - Jan 9, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    So on 8 years this team will be relevant again.

    • duster1982 - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      Still not as irrelevant as your comment.

  3. patthehockeyfan - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I confess that I didn’t see the press conference, and only listening to the audio wouldn’t answer my question.

    In the photos I’ve seen of Murray, why does he look as if someone just told him he has three weeks to live? I know Buffalo is having a rough year; but, jeez! – the only way to go is up – look at least a little bit optimistic!

    • storminator16 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      “In the photos I’ve seen of Murray, why does he look as if someone just told him he has three weeks to live? ”

      I LOL’d.

      • patthehockeyfan - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Thanks, storm. :)

  4. djshnooks - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Grigorenko was a bum at the WJC? That’s funny, he was Russia’s leading scorer…and tied for 2nd out of all players in goals.

    You clearly did not watch any of the games…way to look like a fool.

  5. ralphwilsonisrich - Jan 9, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    How was Regier the GM and what got into Terry Pegula?

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