You’ve all heard "The Twelve Days of Christmas", an English Christmas carol that’s been around for a couple of centuries now. In honor of the guy who has these on his mask, here’s the Minions version -
3. An Assistant GM to run the Amerks
The Buffalo Sabres have General Manager Tim Murray running the show, and he’s done plenty of wheeling and dealing up here. There’s still a long way to go for the Sabres before they are a regular playoff contender, so there’s plenty of work still left for him to do.
With that said, you have to wonder where he has the time to watch Amerks games and practices, talk to the coaching staff and make personnel and organizational decisions for Rochester.
The Amerks haven’t been relevant in the AHL for a few years now, unfortunately. Terry Pegula bought the team in the beginning of the 2011-12 season, and in those five seasons since then they’ve been bounced in the first round of the playoffs three straight years, and then not even made the playoffs in the last two years, finishing 6th in the North both times.
Dan Lambert is currently in his first season in charge, and the team hasn’t gotten much better despite an infusion of a bunch of new players this offseason. Granted they’ve lost a lot of their best players to the Sabres for long stretches, still the product on the ice is far from what is desired.
Is success for the Amerks necessary for the Sabres to do well, you might ask? If the roster in Rochester is loaded with AHL journeymen, then probably not. However, Buffalo has a decent number of young prospects (15 of the 24) getting the hang of the professional game at the Amerks and the sooner they get seasoned and can make the transition to the NHL, the better the whole franchise gets.
What we’d like to see is Tim Murray find and groom an Assistant General Manager to cut his teeth in the AHL, taking the Amerks deep into the playoffs and possibly winning the team’s seventh (and more) Calder Cup and then eventually work his way into the reckoning for managing Buffalo.
PS - I’ve changed the order of the posts; my super-smart wife kindly pointed out to me that I was actually counting the days down opposite to what the song suggests, duh!