Skip to content

NHL ‘not worried about tanking for McDavid and Eichel,’ says Buffalo GM

Apr 7, 2014, 1:49 PM EDT

Connor McDavid Getty Images

With so much focus on the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and its two big prizes — OHL Erie wunderkind Connor McDavid and Boston University recruit Jack Eichel — the subject of tanking has arisen lately, especially after CBC’s Elliotte Friedman floated a report that the NHL was considering a change to the draft lottery format.

But one of the GMs expected to be a major player at the ’15 draft says he doesn’t expect any significant changes to occur.

“We’ve all heard that talk of the five-team, five-year rotation, things like that, but there’s been really no appetite to do that,” Sabres GM Tim Murray said, per the Buffalo News. “They don’t think there’s any appetite right now to change it. I believe if there is an appetite to change it, if they’re going to make a drastic change, it has to be something like three to five years out so it doesn’t affect somebody that’s in that position now.

“From what I understand, they’re not worried about tanking for McDavid and Eichel.”

Buffalo, currently the NHL’s last-place team, is expected to struggle again in 2014-15 and be in the McDavid/Eichel sweepstakes next June. What’s more, the Sabres are currently armed with two first-round picks in ’15 — their own, and the one acquired from St. Louis in the Ryan MillerSteve Ott trade.

Talk of tanking and jockeying for draft position promises to get bigger and bigger as we get closer to next June, as McDavid is considered by many to be the best pro prospect since Sidney Crosby. The 6-foot, 185-pounder won OHL Rookie of the Year last year and had 99 points in 56 games this season; Eichel, meanwhile, drew rave reviews while playing for the U.S. U-18 team, prompting head coach Danton Cole to compare him to Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter.

“[Eichel] has the size and scoring, plus the good stick like those two players,” Cole said, per NHL.com. “I think his skating explosiveness is off the charts though.”

Latest Posts
  1. Islanders ink Anders Lee to a four-year, $15 million extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

    EDMONTON, AB - MARCH 06: Anders Lee #27 of the New York Islanders celebrates a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during an NHL game at Rexall Place on March 06, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Getty Images

    He was set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

  2. Wings buy out Weiss after two rocky seasons

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:27 PM EDT

    Stephen Weiss Getty Images

    Detroit’s creating an opportunity for one of its young forwards.

  3. Trade: Oilers get Korpikoski from Coyotes for Gordon

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:06 PM EDT

    Lauri Korpikoski Getty Images

    Arizona is getting back its former center.

  4. Saad, Jackets working on an extension ‘as we speak’

    Jun 30, 2015, 8:04 PM EDT

    Brandon Saad Brandon Saad

    He’s set to become a restricted free agent on Wednesday.

  5. Report: Richards’ border incident involved oxycodone

    Jun 30, 2015, 7:36 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers Getty Images

    He hasn’t been charged with a crime, but is reportedly being investigated.

  6. Ducks stay busy, name former Adams winner MacLean assistant coach

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:37 PM EDT

    Paul MacLean AP

    Won NHL’s coach of the year in 2013 with Ottawa.

  7. Trade: Bieksa headed to California — but it’s Anaheim, not San Jose

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT

    Kevin Bieksa Getty Images

    Where he’ll be reunited with former teammate Ryan Kesler.

  8. Treliving, Flames not concerned about ‘noise’ coming out of Boston

    Jun 30, 2015, 5:45 PM EDT

    Brad Treliving Brad Treliving

    Calgary’s GM responded to comments in a Boston Herald story regarding defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

  9. Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago

    Jun 30, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six Getty Images

    A total of seven players involved in Tuesday’s trade.

  10. Detroit signs Smith to two-year, $5.5 million extension

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:54 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    RFA defenseman appeared in a career-high 76 games last year.

  11. Defensemen Hunwick, Bartkowski to become UFAs

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:39 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Seven Getty Images

    Rangers and Bruins let their respective rearguards walk, thereby deepening the free agent pool.

  12. Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:04 PM EDT

    Dougie Hamilton AP

    Cap hit around $5.75 million.

  13. No buyout: Flyers will keep Gagner

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:31 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Buffalo Sabres Getty Images

    Former first-round pick is relieved after a “stressful” last few days.

  14. Habs re-sign deadline pickup Flynn: two years, $1.9 million

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:14 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Former Buffalo forward had three points in six playoff games for Montreal.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (2293)
  2. C. Talbot (2062)
  3. R. O'Reilly (2020)
  4. M. Richards (1921)
  5. S. Gagner (1853)
  1. R. Lehner (1701)
  2. E. Etem (1661)
  3. M. Lucic (1596)
  4. A. Niemi (1574)
  5. K. Letang (1460)