|Photo courtesy of Binghamton Senators Hockey Club
In addition to his role as Senators assistant general manager, Tim Murray also oversees the team’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
It was a sort of homecoming when Tim Murray signed on to be the new assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators earlier this summer; but even more so, it represented a return to familiar territory.
“The hometown thing is nice,” the Shawville native said earlier this week about getting to ply his trade in his own backyard after a NHL tour of duty that’s taken him through Detroit, Florida, Anaheim and, most recently, New York City. “But No. 1, it’s great to work for people that you know and trust and respect. It makes everything more comfortable.”
In Ottawa, one of those people he’ll be working for is his uncle and Senators GM Bryan Murray.
The two have been reunited for the fourth time in Tim’s NHL career, now in its 15th year. They also worked together with the Red Wings, Panthers and Ducks.
Tim Murray has had a full plate since coming on board with the Senators.
In addition to helping with the day-to-day operations of the NHL team, he’s also overseeing the team’s American Hockey League affiliate Binghamton Senators, who required a re-stocking this off-season.
“It was a pretty busy summer to start off,” said Murray, who was talking on the phone from the training camp of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Chicoutimi Saguenéens – where he was overseeing the tryout of his 17-year-old son Justin, a defenceman who was selected in the seventh round (113th overall) in the junior circuit’s draft this past spring.
“I came in on July 1, which is the start of free agency,” he continued. “With Binghamton, there were three players left from last year.”
The Senators have derived their success over the years in part from drafting well and bringing players up through the system, and getting Binghamton, which has missed the AHL playoffs the past two seasons, in shape is key to the entire organization’s foundation.
Successful Western Hockey League coach Cory Clouston was hired to run the team and expect players such as recent top picks Brian Lee and Nick Foligno
to develop there before getting the chance to make the jump to the big team’s roster.
“I think there’s six or seven (first-year pros),” Tim Murray said. “It’s important to surround those guys with talent and character.”
When the Murrays have worked together (Tim’s father Barrie is Bryan’s brother), success has usually followed, and the Senators, who made their first appearance in the Stanley Cup final just a few months ago, are looking for that family tradition to continue.
Faced with new collective bargaining and free-agency rules that keep him on his toes as well as thinking well into the future of the franchise, Tim Murray is excited about the challenge.
“It’s a totally new landscape,” he said. “I am happy about (the situation). You have to be on the ball. You have to have a two-year plan.”