Sabres on the Verge of Hiring Tim Murray as Their Next GM

The rivalry between the Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators is on the verge of getting a bit more interesting.

Reports are that the Sabres are concluding a deal to make Tim Murray, nephew of Senators General Manager Bryan Murray, their new GM. This would end a search that began with the firing of long-time GM Darcy Regier on November 14. Here’s Bob McKenzie with the call:

Of course, he would later add that nothing is set in stone yet:

If the younger Murray were in fact hired, he would be taking over a team that is currently last in the NHL and without much in the near future to look forward to other than high draft picks.

The first big decision for Murray might be concerning the future of franchise goaltender Ryan Miller. Miller is an impending free agent, and one who would garner a lot of interest in the NHL trade market. Earlier in the season, the team managed to get a good package for star winger Thomas Vanek, one that included Matt Moulson, who could very well be flipped again for even more draft picks.

Several of the Sabres’ prospects participated in the most recent World Junior Hockey Championships where some shone brightly with their play, as both Nikita Zadorov and Rasmus Ristolainen were named to the tournament All-Star team. With all their prospects and draft picks ahead of the much-anticipated 2015 Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel draft, this appears to be a team that could make some noise down the road.

The Sabres have several contracts that they would probably like to rid themselves of, most notably Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff.  Tyler Myers is still young enough to perhaps regain the promising form that earned him his 7-year $38.5 million contract so early in his career. It will be interesting to see what Murray does with current head coach Ted Nolan, who was hired to replace Ron Rolston the same day Regier was fired.

Tim Murray is currently working as the Senators’ Assistant GM, and his pending move could spice things up in one of the NHL’s more underrated rivalries of the new millennium. There was the line brawl which featured then Senator goalie Ray Emery fighting twice, and some memorable playoff games which included a highly entertaining 7-6 game 1 in the 2006 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. After being burned on the shorthanded overtime winner in that series by Jason Pominville, Daniel Alfredsson would redeem himself by scoring the goal that would send Ottawa to their first ever Finals against the Sabres a year later.

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