By John Vogl
The Sabres have made their choice for general manager.
The team has called a news conference for 11:30 this morning, and they will introduce Tim Murray as their next GM in First Niagara Center.
Murray has worked in the NHL since 1993, ascending from scout in Detroit to assistant GM with Ottawa. He has also been the general manager for the Senators' minor-league club in Binghamton since 2007.
“There’s no one I’ve ever met that knows players as well as Tim and can analyze their strengths and weaknesses," Cory Clouston, Murray's first hire in Binghamton, said in today's editions of The Buffalo News. "He’s very good at projecting players.”
Managing a team is the next logical step for Murray. He went to Florida in 1994 and worked his way up to director of amateur scouting before being hired as director of player personnel for Anaheim in 2002. His three-year stay with the Ducks included a Stanley Cup finals appearance.
Murray served as the assistant director of player personnel for the New York Rangers for two seasons before joining Ottawa.
Praise for Murray’s evaluating skills has been universal. The Sabres are rebuilding through the draft, so getting picks right is crucial.
"He’s a tremendous judge of talent, and that goes back to his scouting days," former Binghamton coach Don Nachbaur told The News. "He put together a great group of scouts. They worked hard and had good insight all the players that were available in the draft."
Murray will be the Buffalo's seventh GM and the first hire since 1997, when Darcy Regier took over the post. The Sabres fired Regier in November.
The 50-year-old Murray is from Shawville, Quebec, an English-speaking town in the French province. He is known as an edgy guy who isn’t afraid to challenge the opinions of others.
“He’ll smile a little bit. He’ll be grumpy often,” said Kurt Kleinendorst, another former coach in Binghamton.
"Highly organized, really understood the players," Nachbaur said. "You couldn’t bring up the name of a player whether it was in the American League or the National Hockey League that Tim didn’t have a book on."