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Sabres' Murray: 'Hockey deals are tough to come by right now'

Things can change quickly on NHL deadline day, but Tim Murray doesn’t expect to be able to pull off a hockey deal Monday. Any moves will likely be the expected sales of his pending unrestricted free agents.

“We’ve discussed both scenarios, selling and hockey deals,” Buffalo’s general manager said on Sabres.com. “Hockey deals are tough to come by right now. A couple GMs have called and asked if I wanted to do a hockey deal. I said sure. Their version of a hockey deal was much better for them than it was for me.

“I don’t see that happening right now.”

Jamie McGinn is the Sabres’ top asset and is one of the more notable forwards available. The other pending UFAs are David Legwand, Chad Johnson and Carlo Colaiacovo.

“I’m not actively shopping every potential UFA that we have. I’m taking calls and we’ll see where they go,” Murray told the team Website. “You need a dance partner to dance. When you’re a seller, the ball is mostly in your partner’s court on how much he likes the players that you have or dislikes them.”

The Sabres don’t have any players worth a first-round pick on their own, but it would be tough to acquire one even if they did.

“You’ve seen a couple trades already that teams would rather give up volumes of picks: two seconds rather than a first, even if the seconds are mid- to high seconds versus a late first, especially bubble teams,” Murray said. “People are hoarding their first-round picks.”

The Sabres have 11 picks in this year’s NHL Draft, which will be held in Buffalo. Murray has no problem acquiring more.

“They’re assets and you just move them,” he said. “Eleven is what we have right now. If we gained a couple more and thought 12 or 13 were too many picks, they’re very easy to move on the draft floor.”

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