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Sabres GM, coach part of 'top to bottom' review

Tim Murray says he, Dan Bylsma aware it was 'very disappointing season'

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The entire Buffalo Sabres organization, including coach Dan Bylsma, is likely under review by ownership, general manager Tim Murray said Wednesday.

The Sabres (33-37-12) had 78 points, three fewer than last season, and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight season.

"[Bylsma is] my coach today; I'm the general manager today," Murray said at KeyBank Center. "There's a review top to bottom. I have to meet with ownership next week in Florida. I'm sure I'll be reviewed, I'm sure I'm being reviewed right now, as I should be."

Bylsma, hired by Murray on May 28, 2015, after the Sabres fired Ted Nolan, is 68-73-23 in two seasons.

"I just want everyone to know that top to bottom in the organization we understand it was a very disappointing season," Murray said. "I'm the general manager of the team, so I guess that's top of the food chain when it comes to hockey, so I stand here and take full responsibility for our position, for our standings, and how it finished."

Murray said he would like to see the coaching staff spend more time with the players.

"The coaches work extremely hard," Murray said. "I see them and they're here at 7 in the morning and then they leave at night, and that's on a non-game day. And the video they do and the preparation is exhausting.

"It's every detail, and I just wonder, and do have an opinion and think that sometimes maybe they're stuck in that room preparing, and they are working hard, that maybe they could put a coffee in their hand once in a while and do two hours of video and not three and get out and get to know our players and talk to our players, and it's about coaching individuals a little more and coaching system a little less. That's my opinion; I believe that's the right way."

Murray said he was able to find positives in some players Buffalo wants to build around.

"I think from a playoff standpoint it's disappointing, and I guess it stalled," he said. "But I think from an individual-player-development standpoint, that's what I'm a big part of and believe in, I think (center) Jack Eichel took big steps. I think (center) Sam [Reinhart] took steps. I think [defenseman Jake] McCabe and [defenseman Rasmus] Ristolainen in the first half of the year especially, or the first two-thirds of the year, took big steps.

"I believe there was big progression from [an] individual-player standpoint. If [forward prospect Nicholas] Baptiste comes up here and eventually becomes a 30-goal scorer, are we going to look back and say that this year was a stall? I don't see it that way from an individual-player-development standpoint. From a playoff standpoint, we stalled. So I think they're separate."

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