DON’T GET ME STARTED has me wondering what my friend and Buffalo icon Pat LaFontaine was thinking when he brought in Tim Murray as General Manager of the Buffalo Sabres.


Art Wander

We realize a change was needed. Darcy Regier worked his way out of Buffalo with years of non-productive activity on the ice.

Let’s put it all on the table. Pat LaFontaine brought in Ted Nolan as his first order of business when Patty joined the Pegula team. Then Pat wound up bringing in Murray as the General Manager to replace Regier who left the organization. It’s generally expected that the General Manager selects his own coach but LaFontaine knows how popular Nolan was with the fans in his previous role as coach in the 90s and made that move quickly, to the joy of Sabres fans.

Though Ted Nolan was given a 3-year deal, Murray hasn’t done much to provide the talent to help Buffalo say bye bye to playoff exits. Murray brought in Gionta and Moulson. What have they done? Zippo. Then the next question has to be asked. WHAT HAS MURRAY DONE TO PROVIDE TED NOLAN WITH SOME TALENT? ALSO, what has Murray done to help Pegula’s Rochester Americans this season? Both teams are struggling.

What prompts this discussion is that the words are coming out fast and furious that this will be Ted Nolan’s last season as head coach of the Sabres. It’s been noted on more than one occasion about Murray’s association with the Binghamton, New York hockey coach. If Murray bops Nolan and hires the Binghamton guy, then you might suspect that Murray had it in his mind to make sure that LaFontaine’s choice of coach wouldn’t last.

But – yo Terry Pegula. Are you willing to part with 2 year’s salary if Murray exits Nolan? After all, the Bills forced Pegula to part with $4 million given to Doug Marrone thanks to Russ Brandon’s signature on the opt out clause.

Everyone agrees that Pegula is a shrewd businessman. BUT, throwing out millions of dollars and getting nothing in return isn’t exactly a smart maneuver.

The short stroke is this. Had Murray done his job as General Manager to really build the club by bringing in top notch talent to help Nolan produce a better record that he has, maybe things would be different. If Buffalo finishes last and has a shot at McDavid or Eichle, Nolan should be the one to help develop them, together with Reinhart. Or, as some might think, has Murray’s over-all inactivity to bring in talent a maneuver to insure failure. If that was the case, who takes the hit? Why it’s the coach.

Murray said the Sabres aren’t tanking. So why did he part company with 3 every day players and a couple of great prospects. The Sabres look worse on paper (and probably on the ice) without Myers – Stafford – Enroth.

As has been mentioned, Murray hasn’t given Nolan a vote of confidence. His quotes seem to be directed at having a new coach next season. That would be a mistake on Don’t Get Me Started.

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