We are all thankful for Tim Murray's incredible job at tanking the 2015 season away. He turned dumping players off the team into an art form. It worked. Yet how much of Tim Murray's control over the roster had to do with the Sabres losing out on the prize pony at the fair in Mike Babcock.......get the analogy? I tried.
We know that Mike Babcock wanted a lot of money to coach a new team. That was not the issue with the Sabres. Buffalo has an owner with very deep pockets. The Sabres could have paid Babcock if they wanted more than anyone in the NHL. Main reason for Babcock choosing Toronto may have been how much say he gets on roster moves. Ted Nolan had zero say. Babcock however is a proven coach who has won a Stanley Cup. He is entitled to go for players that he wants, but this roster is Tim Murray'sWith baby. He is building it from the ground up. Perhaps Babcock saw an opportunity to go coach a young team in an incredible city with Toronto, who were also willing to pay the coach big money (50 million over 8 years), yet without the hassle of bickering with a stubborn GM every time they disagree on a roster move.
We saw Pat Lafontaine leave the organization after he and Tim Murray didn't get along. This is Tim Murray's show.
Murray says that roster power was not an issue in the negotiations. He said that Babcock only wanted to coach. That is hard for me to believe. Why else would the coach choose to choose a team with minimal young talent over a Buffalo team who has the best prospects in the NHL, including Jack Eichel who impressed during the IHF World Championships. Making 50 million dollars over 10 years in an up and coming city, with a team that has Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons, Rasmus Ristolainen, Evander Kane, the list goes on and on.
If you ask me it had to have been Murray.
In all honesty I am OK with the Sabres missing out on Babcock. Getting a guy like Dan Bylsma who has won a Stanley Cup can be just as effective. With such a promising team, I don't see a coach being the deciding factor on whether this team seriously competes within the next two seasons.