After discussing the impacts of the new Rogers television deal with the NHL and how it may elevate the cap floor to $60 to 70$ over the course of the next few years, tonight on Hockey Night in Canada’s Hotstove Tonight panel discussion contained one juicy nugget of information relating to the Ottawa Senators.
I’ve embedded the segment at the bottom of the post, so if you want to jump to the point where it begins, skip forward to approximately the 4:22 mark.
On the subject of the Buffalo Sabres’ vacant GM position, Elliotte Friedman said, “Can’t get a confirmation or a denial, but there’s some rumbling that Tim Murray, who is the Assistant GM in Ottawa, may get an interview in Buffalo for that job.”
Now before we fret that the Senators’ prospective GM succession plan would assumedly go out the window should Bryan Murray’s nephew walk for the big, bright lights of Buffalo, let’s keep a few things in mind.
It’s been indicated that the Buffalo Sabres are doing their due diligence in their search for a new GM. Just because the Sabres may have already talked to Tim Murray about the job, doesn’t exactly mean that he’s the frontrunner for it or that he’ll even decide to accept it. Furthermore, we don’t even know if the Senators actually have permission to interview him because Friedman couldn’t get a confirmation or denial. Given the way that they didn’t allow their former European scout, Anders Forsberg, to walk away from his contract and take head coaching position in Sweden, I can’t imagine the Senators would just let Tim Murray walk away without compensation. Not to mention he’d have to move to the city of Buffalo!)
On the other hand, you can understand why the Sabres organization’s GM position is such an attractive position right now. For starters, they’ve been stockpiling assets faster than Tim Thomas stockpiled canned goods for his bunker during his one-year absence from the NHL.
The Sabres have made or hold a total of 17 first- or second-round picks in a four-year span from 2012 to 2015.
No team has made more than 15 selections in the first two rounds in a four-year span in the past two decades. The Washington Capitals had 15 from 2004 to 2007 (and 19 in five years with 2008 added on). The Colorado Avalanche had 15 from 1997 to 2000, including an astounding seven of the top 53 picks in the 1998 NHL Draft.
And the Sabres should be in a position to add more should they move Matt Moulson or Ryan Miller prior to the NHL trade deadline. Combine this abhorrent stockpiling of future assets with the fact that the organization has a billionaire owner who’s not afraid to piss money away (Ville Leino, y’all) and who in theory, should be able to give the organization a competitive advantage over small to mid-cap teams like the Senators, and you should have formula that should give Buffalo’s next GM the ammunition to build a team quickly.
Murray may ultimately not get the position, but should he leave, it potentially paints a scary picture of the situation of Ottawa and considering how much Eugene Melnyk talked about investing into the hockey ops personnel and importance of player development, it would be pretty rich to see Tim Murray leave. And should he leave, you have to wonder whether that would lead to an exodus of amateur staff or even a prospective coaching candidate in Luke Richardson accompanying him as well.