The hiring ends a two month process instigated by Pat LaFontaine, the team’s president of hockey operations.
Murray most recently served as the assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators. He is the nephew of Bryan Murray.
“He’s earned it,” LaFontaine said. “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.”
Murray comes with considerable front office experience, so that will certainly be an asset for his tenure with the Sabres. He may not have held the GM post before, but his time with the Anaheim Ducks was instrumental in helping that club assemble their Cup-winning roster.
Along with the Ducks and Senators, Murray has put in time with the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers.
This is vital stuff for Buffalo because they’re looking for someone to help pilot them in the right direction. That process will certainly take a major leap forward at the draft, where Murray has been a key piece to picking up players like Erik Karlsson.
Murray is also not skittish, which could make a considerable difference in replacing his predecessor. Whereas Darcy Regier had trouble pushing players out that he liked, Murray shows no such “weaknesses.”
“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.”
The Sabres will go into the draft with a considerable stack of picks, plus a full plate of prospects. And with Terry Pegula as owner, Buffalo could finally be in a position to craft the rebuild they’ve been crowing about.