The end game for Bryan Murray as Ottawa Senators general manager has always been a bump upstairs rather than a shove out the exit door, and they made that clear on Monday: Murray was given a contract extension that’ll keep him as the GM through 2016 while adding “president of hockey operations” to his title, a role he’ll play at least through 2018.
Nice job security for a 71-year-old dude. And also ensuring that Melnyk won't turn around and hire someone above him in the pecking order. (a.k.a. getting Sherman'd).
"It's exciting that Eugene [Melnyk] has made this commitment to me and also for me to make this commitment to be part of the organization for four more years," Murray said in a release. "This team has come a long way and we have seen real growth over these past three seasons. I know that with the pool of talent we have assembled both on and off the ice and our desire to improve at every level that we are on the right path to develop this team into a group talented enough to compete for championships.
"Mr. Melnyk has made it very clear that he wants to be a champion and that's what we both want for the city of Ottawa. It is an exciting time for us as we see this team grow, and being part of that growth is a big reason for both of us to make this commitment."
Randy Lee and Pierre Dorion were also handed promotions to assistant general manager as Lee takes over for the departed Tim Murray as GM of the Binghamton Senators.
Ah, yes, Tim Murray. The one that got away, leaving for the Buffalo Sabres when everyone assumed he was in line to take over for his uncle one day as Senators general manager. That was big news last week, leaving some to point out the obvious migration from a money-troubled team to the billions in Pegula-bucks the Sabres have.
Inking Bryan Murray to a long-term deal certainly tempers conversation about the team’s near future.
It was also important to have Murray there, for continuity’s sake. He’ll still be the GM when Milan Michalek an Chris Phillips are up for new deals this summer, and then when Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan are up next summer.
It’s also not overstating the obvious that Murray has done a good job in building this team. As The 6th Sens noted last month, Murray “has also made his best moves during this rebuild by buying low on undervalued players like Craig Anderson (shitty team), Marc Methot (injury), Kyle Turris (reputation) and Ben Bishop (risk of St. Louis losing him to UFA because he would not get in enough NHL games).”
That, along with hiring Paul MacLean, who only won a Jack Adams last season.
The biggest mistake he made in the last few years wasn’t even his: Letting Daniel Alfredsson walk. That’s on his owner’s wallet and the steel chains restricting its opening.
So Bryan Murray stays solid for several seasons with Senators, which is a sentence we’d give $100 to charity to hear Bryan Murray say five times fast.