Buffalo Sabres: Tim Murray Discusses An Eventful Day


Buffalo Sabres: Tim Murray Discusses An Eventful Day

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It’s fair to say that Friday was an eventful occasion for the Buffalo Sabres. Certainly, it had a vibe reminiscent to the dawning of a new era in Western New York.

Certainly, General Manager Tim Murray was satisfied with the way events panned out. As he told Chris Ryndak of sabres.com and the rest of of the media: “It was a good day. …We’ve got to get ready for tomorrow, but we did hit some targets today, and that’s satisfying when you can do that.”

With everyone already knowing the Sabres would select Jack Eichel with the second overall draft pick, in some ways they made bigger news with their trades. This included acquiring Robin Lehner and David Legwand from the Ottawa Senators, while also bringing in Ryan O’Reilly and Jamie McGinn from the Colorado Avalanche.

May 28, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray speaks to the media at a press conference introducing head coach Dan Bylsma at the First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

However, for anyone who thinks it looks like easy work to make these trades, Murray stressed it was only as a result of lots of hard work: “I have no fear because I think I’m prepared.

“I think my staff helps me a lot. I’m a scenario guy. Like I’ve said from the start, we have a goal in how we want to build. But it’s a moving target all the time.”

If the truth be known, initial opinion seems to be split on Murray’s decision to send the 21st pick in the draft to Ottawa, in exchange for Lehner (and Legwand). Make no mistake, the goaltender was brought in as a result of his potential, which includes good mobility and lateral movement, combined with excellent size.

The only issue with potential is that it never comes with any guarantees. However, when you consider the recent record of players selected 21st in the NHL draft, it can be considered a risk worth taking.

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On the flip side, the general consensus appears positive in respect of the decision to bring in O’Reilly and McGinn. In exchange, the Sabres sent Mikhail Grigorenko, Nikita Zadorov, prospect J.T. Compher and the 32nd pick in this year’s draft to Colorado.

In particular, O’Reilly is seen as an excellent coup. Just last season, the center led the NHL in takeaways (83) and was awarded the Lady Byng Trophy, after recording only one penalty minor.

Certainly, Murray is happy with the acquisition of the 24-year old: “I like a lot about him…I think his hockey sense is off the charts.

“I love his work ethic on and off the ice. I love his skill level. There’s nothing I don’t like about him.”

Of course, no matter how much intrigue there was surrounding the trades, Sabres fans were still more excited by the official selection of Eichel. Similar to last year, Murray had little to say when confirming the pick – just four words in fact: “Buffalo selects Jack Eichel.”

For what it’s worth, Eichel – who has yet to confirm if he will turn pro – enjoyed the style of his new GM’s announcement. The 18-year old told Ryndak: “I kind of liked it. He’s straight forward, got to the point, didn’t have to build up any suspense.”

Ironically, that may be one of the few times there is no suspense surrounding this organization moving forward. Sabres fans are nervously excited, wondering what will happen in the coming weeks, months and years.

A new era has officially arrived in Western New York. For Murray’s sake, it can only be hoped that it will be a positive one.