Murray: 'I have to improve the team'

March 2, 2017
The NHL trade deadline reached 3pm on Wednesday, and the Sabres were surprisingly stagnant. No deals were made by general manager Tim Murray, who is known to be aggressive pursuing trades.

Murray held a press conference on Wednesday and called the deadline, "quietest since I've been here."

On Thursday, Murray walked from the Key Bank Center to join Bulldog at (716) Food & Sports to discuss the deadline, and the direction of the Sabres moving forward.

"It was a slow, we can see that. Three or four hours before the first trade was made so we knew it was going to be a slow day," Murray stated. "You still have to do, what you have to do, make your calls or listen to calls, but you know what I don't want to dwell on it."

Dmitry Kulikov is one of the players that many assumed would be on the move, but concerns with his health held back any potential trades. When asked Murray said that under the right circumstances he would consider bringing Kulikov back for next season.

"I've talked to our training staff about him. They believe that if they had him for a full summer that they could really attack this injury and how it's affected the rest of his body," Murray explained.

Evander Kane was another player subject to trade rumors as the deadline approached. Murray has expressed interest in pursuing a long term deal with Kane. Starting July 1st, the Sabres will be able to start negotiations with not only Evander Kane, but Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart. A question that continues to be asked about the future of the Sabres is can Murray fit Eichel, Reinhart, Kane, and potentially another defenseman in the long term plans of the team.

"Well I'm not sure right now. I'm not sure what Sam, and Jack's contracts are going to be. I think come July 1st that they would be the first two guys that we talk to, and then you have the trickle down effect of who's the next guy you talk to contract-wise. I'm sure Evander would be right after those two guys," Murray revealed. "Can I trade for a top defenseman this summer? If I can what does he make? Does that still allow me to sign Evander long term or not long term. Those are things I am not sure on yet."

One thing that became clear towards the end of Murray's interview with Bulldog is that he has diasnosed, along with many fans and media, that the defense corps of the Sabres is a glaring weakness. He takes responsibilty for the Sabres struggle on the back end this season.

"I have to improve the team. We have to get better on the blue line, there's no question about it. That's on me. That's not on the coaches. That's not on the players," Murray expressed. "We have what we have right now. I think we go into the off season our number one goal is to, and I hate saying this because it becomes the theme...The theme within the offseason will be to do the best we can to get a defenseman. I think one defenseman, and I'm not saying a number one, getting a number one is extremely difficult. But to get a real good, young defenseman that can play in our top four, and help us on special teams."

There were a lot more topics that Murray covered, and questions that he answered. You can listen to the interview in it's entirety below.