By John Vogl
Tim Murray just got into Buffalo on Wednesday night. The Sabres' new general manager hasn't even met all his co-workers yet, so it's a bit early to know if Ted Nolan will get a contract extension or whether Ryan Miller will be traded.
"Those things aren't as pressing to me as maybe they are to you," Murray said today after his introductory news conference.
After Murray catches his breath, however, he will have big decisions to make.
1. Will Ted Nolan remain the Sabres' coach?
Nolan has held an interim title since taking over the bench in November. Murray will need to decide whether to give Nolan the job or make another hire. Murray said he wasn't told he had to keep Nolan if he took the GM job.
“He’s the coach of this team,” Murray said. “I got the job last night. I’m going to try and get to know him, but he’s the coach right now. Whatever happens going forward will determine everything else. There’s no preconceived notions.”
2. What will Murray do with pending unrestricted free agents Ryan Miller, Steve Ott and Matt Moulson?
Murray's headline comment of the day was, "This team is in last place right now. Everyone can be traded.” The GM said he's somewhat aggressive, so he'll investigate the trade marketplace for the three.
Murray also said you can't build a successful team with a bunch of 22-year-olds. He knows veterans are needed and will gauge the trio's desire to stay in Buffalo for the rebuild. Miller's agent, Mike Liut, told The News he knows Murray well from past dealings but isn't sure how the hiring will impact the goaltender's future.
3. Where will Mikhail Grigorenko play?
Murray will have the final say, but it appears this decision was already made by Pat LaFontaine and Ted Nolan. The Russian center and 2012 first-round draft pick is likely headed back to junior hockey rather than stay with the Sabres. Grigorenko returned from world juniors today but won't play in tonight's home game against Florida.