Sabres looking to rebuild quickly

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm •  Published: April 15, 2014
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Tim Murray's vision of rebuilding the Buffalo Sabres involves several things.

And the rookie general manager doesn't expect it will take long to accomplish.

Murray outlined his intentions Tuesday, two days after the Sabres closed one of the worst and most tumultuous seasons in their 44-year history.

Murray was direct in calling the Sabres' last-place finish "unacceptable."

And he was blunt in laying the blame on everyone from management, to the coaching staff and on down to his players.

"A lot of nights it was hard to watch," Murray said. "A lot of nights we competed hard and just didn't have enough talent to put us over the top. But other nights, it wasn't pretty."

Murray also made a point of steering clear of using the word "suffering" as his predecessor, Darcy Regier, had used several times a year earlier.

Regier, who was fired in November, was criticized for suggesting fans might have to suffer through a lengthy rebuilding process for a team hasn't won a playoff series since 2007.

Murray interrupted a question at the mere mention of Regier and suffering.

"I wasn't here. I'm not using that word," he said. "This is not going to be a five-year rebuild, not for me anyway. That's not what I want."

That doesn't mean he expects the turnaround to be immediate.

"When you tear it down, it doesn't happen overnight," Murray said. "I want to rebuild here properly, which takes time. But it doesn't have to take years."

Murray is essentially starting from scratch after spending the past two months purging much of what was left of the team's veteran core.

Buffalo (21-51-10) set a post-NHL-expansion-era low by scoring 150 goals and a franchise record for losses.

The team's front office also underwent an overhaul with coach Ron Rolston fired along with Regier. Pat LaFontaine then abruptly stepped down as president of hockey operations in March, 3½ months after taking over.

That leaves Murray in charge and Ted Nolan staying on as coach after signing a three-year contract extension last month.