On Thursday, Jan. 9, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they had hired former Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Tim Murray as the team’s new general manager, concluding a search that lasted nearly two months after new Director of Hockey Operations Pat LaFontaine announced the firing of then general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Ron Rolston on Nov. 13.
It was also announced that Craig Patrick has been named as a special advisor to the hockey department, a role that he has been serving as with the Columbus Blue Jackets since 2011.
Tim Murray had been working as an assistant general manager with the Ottawa Senators under his uncle, Bryan Murray, for the past seven seasons. During his time there he also served as the general manager for their American Hockey League affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, which won the 2011 Calder Cup Championship. He also has 20 years of experience in a variety of roles in evaluating talent at both the amateur and professional level, spending time with the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. While with the Mighty Ducks, he played a part in drafting forwards Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in the 2003 NHL draft, both crucial parts of the franchise’s 2007 Stanley Cup Championship team (in their first season as the renamed Anaheim Ducks).
Craig Patrick, the newly named special adisor to the hockey department, also brings 32 years of managerial experience at the NHL level, including 17 years as the general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1989 to 2006. During his time in Pittsburgh, Patrick won two Stanley Cups (1991 and 1992), and drafted players such as Jaromir Jagr (1990), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Evgeni Malkin (2004), and Sidney Crosby (2005), the latter three all part of the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup Championship team. He had been serving as a special advisor for the Columbus Blue Jackets since 2011. Before his time in the NHL, Patrick also served as an assistant general manager and assistant coach under Herb Brooks for the 1980 United States Olympic hockey team, which upset the heavily-favored Soviet Union team en route to the gold medal in which has been named the “Miracle on Ice.” He was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
Tim Murray and Craig Patrick will now have quite a bit of work to do in their new positions as general manager and special adviser for the Buffalo Sabres. Forwards Steve Ott and Matt Moulson, as well as goaltender Ryan Miller, are all in the final years of their contracts. Also, they will have to decide status of Ted Nolan, who is currently only on an “interim basis” as the team’s head coach.