Murray active in second deadline season

The 2014-15 trade deadline was much different for Tim Murray than the 2013-14 deadline when he was just a few months into his new job.

Entering last year’s deadline, Murray was tasked with finding a home for pending UFA goaltender Ryan Miller, pending UFA Steve Ott along with other pieces. Most notably, Matt Moulson, who was also set to enter free agency. deadline

Last year’s deadline saw Murray make four separate deals and acquire a total of six players and four draft picks. He also claimed Cory Conacher on waivers on deadline day. Murray was not facing the same steep challenge at this year’s deadline. He did not have a franchise talent like Miller to deal, while sporting three pending UFAs who held varying levels of average value. The deadline closed with the Sabres having made four trades (again) while acquiring a goaltender, a prospect and four picks.

You certainly can’t give Murray a strong grade for this year’s deadline alone. None of the four deals he made were blockbusters and he wasn’t dealing from a position of power like in 2014. However, looking at the big picture, Murray has positioned himself very well to take the next big step in the rebuild of the Sabres franchise. Continue reading

Kane acquisition represents the next step in Buffalo’s rebuild

Tim Murray has had the arsenal of assets to make a major play for talent going back to his first trade deadline as the Buffalo Sabres general manager. He will enter his second trade deadline with his second major trade in his rear-view mirror.

Murray shipped an impressive package of Tyler Myers, Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, Brendan Lemieux and a conditional first round draft pick to Winnipeg in exchange for Evander Kane, Zach Bogosian and Jason Kasdorf. It’s a trade the provides the Sabres with not one, but two significant pieces that fit in both the short, and long term plans of the organization.

There is some concern that Murray may have sacrificed too much in order to complete the trade but in a world where you have to pay a premium to obtain premium talent, it lines up as a balanced transaction for both teams. Continue reading

Sabres culture change continues with acquisition of Ott

The Buffalo Sabres mission to get tougher took another step forward this evening when they acquired Adam Pardy and Steve Ott from the Dallas Stars for Derek Roy.

After opening free agency with John Scott, Darcy Regier made a major decision in parting with Derek Roy, part of the post-Drury core. Not only does Roy’s departure rid the Sabres of one of their undersized forwards, it rids them of a player whose opinion of the coaching staff and organization seemed to have soured.

Ott is obviously the gem of the trade for Buffalo. He is a gritty center who will fit Lindy Ruff’s system beautifully. Ott hovers above the 50% rate in the faceoff circle, likes to hit and once got in Peter Laviolette’s face. What’s not to like?

Whether or not the Sabres win this trade is debatable. They lose a talented, second line center to pick up a grinder and a fringe defenseman. That isn’t an ideal situation for a team who went through long scoring droughts last season. However, for a locker room widely regarded as stale, mentally weak and in need of a shake up, Ott is exactly the type of player you’re looking for. Continue reading

Pre draft buzz – Robyn Regehr asked to waive his NMC

News broke on Thursday that Calgary defenseman Robyn Regehr was asked to waive his no movement clause to accept a trade to Buffalo.

This would be a fantastic trade for Buffalo, Regehr would certainly fill one of the major voids on the blue line and would likely provide a good veteran partner for Tyler Myers.

There are about 500 different reports floating around regarding who the Sabres will be sending. The big name appears to be Luke Adam in a deal that would likely include a draft pick – my guess is Buffalo’s third round selection. Other names floated around are Nik Hagman, Ales Kotalik and Matt Stajan. Personally, I don’t see a world where Buffalo would bring back Kotalik, nor would I want to accept Hagman and his $3m salary. Stajan is an interesting option and easily the most attractive in a trade scenario. He can play center and would certainly add depth at a position where the Sabres are weak.

I am hopeful that this trade comes through. I would be OK with seeing Adam and a pick go to Calgary for a package of Regehr and Stajan. Is that an acceptable trade? Who knows. What can be said is both teams have reached an agreement and are simply waiting on Regehr to approve the deal.