Murray calls Sabres GM job ‘the right situation’

Tim Murray was named the seventh general manager in the 44-year history of the Buffalo Sabres Thursday.

Murray calls Sabres GM job ‘the right situation’
General Manager Bryan Murray (R) and Assistant GM Tim Murray. (Photo by Wayne Cuddington, Ottawa Citizen)

Tim Murray was named the seventh general manager in the 44-year history of the Buffalo Sabres Thursday.

The Sabres introduced Murray, who had been assistant GM of the Ottawa Senators since 2007, at a late morning press conference.

“This is the right situation and the right time to come to Buffalo,” Murray said. “I think great things can happen here, if we work hard. And it was attractive to me.”

Murray vowed to improve player development with the Sabres but said he liked some of the club’s young talent. For now, interim head coach Ted Nolan will remain on the job, but Murray gave no assurances past this season.

Look for the Senators, meanwhile, to promote hockey management staffers Randy Lee and Pierre Dorion to twin assistant GM positions.

Murray, 50, assistant GM of the Ottawa Senators since 2007, replaces Darcy Regier and ends a two-month search by new Sabres president Pat Lafontaine.

In addition to interviewing Murray — nephew of Senators general manager Bryan Murray — LaFontaine talked to Boston Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning, Nashville Predators assistant GM Paul Fenton and Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Brad Treliving.

Given his start in hockey by Bryan Murray, Tim Murray has risen through the scouting ranks in the NHL for the past 20 years, beginning as an amateur scout with the Detroit Red Wings in 1993-94, while his uncle was Wings GM.

Tim Murray thanked his uncle and mentor for giving him his start in the game as a scout in 1993. As he left, Tim received the Senators blessing.

“On behalf of the entire Ottawa Senators organization, I want to thank Tim for his many contributions to our hockey club over the past seven years,” said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in a statement. “Tim has spent the past two decades working in the National Hockey League in various roles in hockey operations and the opportunity to become a general manager in our league is a great achievement for him and his family,” said Melnyk.

“Bryan Murray is actively working on a plan to address the opportunity for internal management to fulfill Tim’s previous tasks within the organization.”

Bryan Murray called it a day of “mixed emotions” seeing Tim join the Sabres. “He was a great member of our staff and his contributions will be missed, but I’m also very proud that he is able to become a general manager in the National Hockey League. I want to formally congratulate him on this tremendous achievement.”

“Tim has consistently shown the ability to be a tremendous talent evaluator and I’m confident that he’ll step in and do a great job for the Sabres. It is a testament to the quality of our hockey staff in Ottawa that Tim is prepared and able to make the move to lead another franchise.”

Tim Murray served as director of player personnel with the Anaheim Ducks from 2002-05 — which included their trip to the 2003 Stanley Cup final — before joining the Rangers as assistant director of player personnel, where his duties expanded to include evaluation of NHL free agents. His duties in Ottawa included the role of GM of the AHL’s Binghamton Senators, Calder Cup champions in 2011.

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