By John Vogl
PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Murray has talked, talked and talked some more to other NHL general managers about trades leading up to the draft tonight. So far, the talk has gone nowhere.
He really hopes that will change.
"I actually said the amount of talking that we’ve done in the last three weeks, for it to come down to this and look like we might not do anything, I don’t know if it’s disappointing or …," the Sabres' GM said today. "I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve been around this a long time, but it’s quiet. I think a lot of people, including myself, did a lot of tire kicking. I thought I did more than tire kicking, but I said there must be a blockbuster going on because nobody’s reaching out to us anymore."
There's a belief the words could become action when the teams gather at 5 p.m. in Wells Fargo Center, but Murray needs the logjam to break much earlier than two hours before the draft starts.
"I have a couple of really complicated ideas, so I don’t know if I can execute them in an hour," he said with a laugh in the team's downtown hotel.
One trade situation that Murray won't need much time to execute would be acquiring another first-round pick.
"That’ll happen on the floor," said Murray, who has three second-round selections to use as bait. "I still may not be able to move into the first round, but I assume that I’m going to get some people to talk to me about that on the floor.
"The ones involving players and contracts and other picks – you’re not trading for picks, you’re trading a player for picks or something like that – that has quieted off, so they’re a little more complicated."
As of now, the Sabres plan to use the No. 2 overall selection.
"I have no other options right now, so that’s my plan," said Murray, who will likely have the option of forwards Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart and Leon Draisaitl.
Murray says the trade talk has involved acquiring veteran players and shipping out players on his roster, but he is more inclined to bring people in.
"I’m not shopping our players," he said. "Truthfully, I have gotten calls on a couple of our players. I just said I’ll listen. I’m not going to be extremely aggressive trying to trade young guys that we feel we can go forward with, but in saying that I have to listen. I have to listen to some of those.
"I’ve tried to trade for a couple veteran players that I think will either A) and most importantly help our culture, and B) bring some skill to our lineup. That is going, right now, nowhere."
The full audio featuring Murray's comments is available here.