Buffalo, NY, United States (4E Sports) – With the team in last place, new Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray stressed that no job is safe and everybody can be traded.
“I can’t go out and tell you right now I’m trading all pending unrestricted free agents if there’s no market to trade them,” Murray said during his introductory press conference at the First Niagara Center.
“But if there’s a market and it makes sense, trades could happen. This team is in last place right now. Everybody can be traded,” he added.
Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine spent two months interviewing candidates before settling on Murray, who recently worked as assistant general manager for the Ottawa Senators.
Murray has worked for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Rangers. He’s been with the Senators since 2007.
“He’s earned it,” LaFontaine said Thursday. “He’s done every job to get to this point. He has had success everywhere he has been and he will have success in Buffalo.”
The club also hired Craig Patrick as a special advisor. Patrick was serving in a similar role with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Patrick has served as a GM for the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, where he won two Stanley Cups.
Murray, nephew of Senators general manager Bryan Murray, said he plans to jump into the many tasks facing him immediately.
“My short-term goal in next few days is to go over [draft] lists and reports with assistant general manager Kevin Devine because that is how you build a team,” Murray said. “You build a team through doing well in the draft. Free agency puts you over the top. That’s my philosophy.”
Murray said he will put emphasis on developing younger players, noting that there already are solid pieces in place in Buffalo.
“My goal here is to put an emphasis on the development of the people already here,” Murray said. “There are pieces here. The cupboard’s not bare. There are a couple of positions we have to improve on.”