DON’T GET ME STARTED wants to see how good a General Manager Tim Murray might turn out to be.  He’s got his first real challenge.


Art Wander

It’s already been published that his eyes have been on McDavid who definitely earned the right to be the top choice in the NHL draft.  Murray has made several trips to Erie to watch him play.

For the second year in a row, the Buffalo Sabres had the “best chance” to take the top pick but for the second year in a row, Buffalo will be getting the second pick as the Edmonton Oilers received the #1 selection in June’s draft.  The Sabres were assured of getting the #2 pick, the reward for finishing last in the NHL.  The next great prospect is Jack Eichel of Boston University.

Picking Eichel would be the sound choice.  He is a gifted player and the Sabres would not have to give up anything for the right to get McDavid.

Yet, here’s where it gets tricky with Eichel.  Suppose Murray offers a package that includes both #1 picks in the June draft and a player and another draft choice, Edmonton might be interested since they would be getting Eichel, plus another 1st rounder in the talent rich draft and whatever Murray would offer or Edmonton want.  Edmonton certainly would have to look at the deal.

I’m almost confident that other teams will be wooing the Oilers to trade for McDavid, but the Sabres have the most to offer since Edmonton would get the talented Eichel.

What makes this a little tricky is that suppose such a deal is published and Edmonton turns it down saying that they will not even discuss trading McDavid.  How will that make Eichel feel about Buffalo?  What if he is chagrined of being trade bait by the Buffalo Sabres?  What if he then says he will go back to college and will not sign with the Sabres?  Remember how John Elway said he would never play for Baltimore when he was drafted, forcing the Colts to make a trade with Denver.  If Eichel would use the “won’t play for Buffalo” routine, would the Sabres then be forced to trade him?

The next few weeks, beginning Sunday April 18, will be very interesting.  Fans will be waiting to see what Murray would do.   Since this is Saturday after the lottery, the next article might reveal what Murray’s intentions might be.

If I was the GM, there would be no question.  I would make sure Eichel knows that the Sabres will make him its #1 pick in June and begin building the team around him.  Then use the other 1st round pick for another top flight prospect plus survey the free agent market after that.

Again, I feel Murray would be wise on Sunday to say that he definitely will make Eichel a Buffalo Sabre and let the rebuilding begin (again) on Don’t Get Me Started.

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