Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) -- Tim Murray covered a lot of topics Monday morning at the arena including the buyout of Christian Ehrhoff. He was asked if there was any scenario where he could’ve kept Christian, Murray said, “No, we went through all the scenario’s, we didn’t think we could trade him, there was opportunity to trade him but with the penalties on his contract at the end if he were to retire, we felt that in six or seven years, when he’s making a million dollars and he has a lot of incentive to retire, that the penalty was too high for where we want to be at that time. We want to be a contending team, that spends to the cap, that has the ability to acquire a free agent at the trade deadline, that puts us over the top that makes lots of money and that contract was a hindrance. So this seemed to be the best course of action for us to move on, be out from that contract and what possible could come at the end of that contract and now we don’t have to worry about it.”
On Sunday Tim Murray told John Vogl that he may not have been happy with Ehrhoff’s play. On Monday is was a non-issue, “I’m not going to comment on that, last year was a tough year. Quite frankly if you want me to sit here and go through player by player what I thought, it can’t be pretty, right? The team was not very good. That’s gone for me, this is a new beginning. This is my first full year, this is Teddy’s first full year, so this is where we start off and try to lay the right lessons.”
Murray wanted to stress that the Ehrhoff decision was business, not personal, “I like Christian, he’s a good player. I guess he could’ve played it out here, but he didn’t seem to be all in on that and I respect that. I wasn’t here when he signed and a rebuild wasn’t attractive to him.”
Tim Murray started his career in Buffalo by trading away Matt Moulson, Ryan Miller and Steve Ott.
Since then he has bought out Ville Leino and Christian Ehrhoff and finished his first draft that netted the team Samson Reinhart.
Buffalo already had players like Mark Pysyk, Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rasmus Ristolainen, Nikita Zadorov, Joel Armia, Jake McCabe, J.T. Compher, Connor Hurley, Johan Larsson, Justin Bailey and Nick Baptiste.
If Buffalo succeeds, Murray knows he’s going to get a lot of the credit, but he knows it’s not all him, “There were assets here, there were good players here. The young guys that are on the team, I talk about Myers and Foligno and Ennis all the time, but also when you have Pysyk and Ristolainen and Zadorov and McCabe on your backend, I mean that’s exciting, so there were good young players that were her before me. If we turn this around it’ll be me getting a lot of the credit, but there’s a foundation here that was here before I got here and I have to recognize that and you have to recognize that.”
By buying out Leino and Ehrhoff, Murray knocked just over $8 million off his cap. He hates the question, but how will he reach the cap floor? “What’s going to happen I believe is you have teams that are near the top of the cap and if a free agent comes knocking on their door tomorrow and he’s a very good player, they have a hard time saying no, so their plan will be to deal with it after that, so the contending teams are going to be competing for the top free agents, somebody is going to get them and they’re going to have to move lesser players out, so that’s one way to do it.” Murray added, “In free agency there’s been a lot of interest so, I think there’s a possibility of getting some pretty good free agents that are going to make pretty good money. I’m not worried about the floor, I’ll sign you (John Vogl) on the 4th of October if I have to. We’ll get to the floor.”