BUFFALO – It appears the Sabres will name Tim Murray their new general manager.
According to reports, Pat LaFontaine, the president of hockey operations, has chosen the 50-year-old Murray, Ottawa’s assistant GM, to replace Darcy Regier after a nearly two-month search.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Murray is the “last man standing” and a formal offer, negotiation and ownership approval still must be completed.
The Sabres also interviewed three assistant GMs – Boston’s Jim Benning, Nashville’s Paul Fenton and Phoenix’s Brad Treliving – and Los Angeles scouting director Michael Futa.
According to McKenzie, the Sabres told Futa and Treliving they were out Tuesday. Their window to talk to Benning expired.
Early reports had Benning, who worked 12 years with the Sabres, including eight as the director of amateur scouting, the team’s top choice.
But Benning reportedly couldn’t leave the Bruins until after the Olympics because GM Peter Chiarelli is helping run Team Canada at the upcoming Sochi Games.
The Sabres have several high-profile player decisions to make before the NHL trade deadline. Franchise goalie Ryan Miller, captain Steve Ott and top scorer Matt Moulson are all unrestricted free agents following the season.
They also have an interim coach, Ted Nolan.
Murray, the nephew of Ottawa GM Bryan Murray, began his NHL career as an amateur scout with Detroit in 1993-94. He moved on to Florida, where he rose to director of amateur scouting before leaving in 2002.
He was Anaheim’s director of player personnel from 2002-05 before becoming the New York Rangers’ assistant director of player personnel in July 2005.
Murray’s also the GM of the Senators’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton.