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

Jan 23, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

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.”

  1. elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    Does he have an alien head pin on his jacket in that picture?

    • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      Scratch that, it’s just bad resolution since you can see it’s a Sabres logo pin in other pictures from the same conference.

  2. westinpat - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Just a heads up it’s Rasmus Ristolainen, not Sasmus.

    • Mike Halford - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:22 PM

      Sasmus is a perfectly cromulent name.

      • westinpat - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        Sounds like an old Nintendo character.

      • storminator16 - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        “Sass Mouth” Ristolainen. Perfectly good name.

      • davebabychreturns - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        Thank you Mike, you’ve embiggened all of the Sasmuses out there who have to endure ridicule from people like westinpat.

  3. davebabychreturns - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    By the way, is Murray wearing transition lenses at that press conference?

    And is it weird that I am now automatically assuming he’s a creep?

    • elvispocomo - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      We should definitely assume he’s a creep who follows around UFO sightings!

  4. rushledger - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    Getting Conner mcdavid should be his number one priority, that will move this rebuild along a bit.

    • bullwinkle88 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Absolutely correct. That and only that, should be the short term goal for this team.

  5. travishenryskid - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Or Eichel. Bottom line is they have to be even worse next year. Trading Miller, Ott and Moulson and leaving your top pick in juniors to simmer is a good way to start.

  6. thedavesiknowiknow - Jan 23, 2014 at 4:53 PM

    Realistically they need a center, maybe another wing, a few middle of the road “character guys”, and a few years. Goalies grow on trees these days. I’d like to keep Miller, but if he wants Lundqvist’s contract someone else can make that mistake. Especially considering Buffalo has been rebuilding for at least 2 years already without using the term- I think it can be done quickly.

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