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Change of plans: Murray joins Bylsma’s staff in Buffalo, not Hakstol’s in Philly

Terry Murray, Jack Johnson

Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray, left, looks at defenseman Jack Johnson during the first period of the Kings’ NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers, Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


On Thursday, Buffalo filled out Dan Bylsma’s coaching staff by adding two assistants -- Terry Murray, the uncle of Sabres GM Tim Murray, and former New Jersey Devils assistant Dave Barr.

The Murray hire is an intriguing one. The 64-year-old veteran bench boss is highly regarded in NHL circles, having spent time as a head coach in Washington, Philadelphia, Florida and Los Angeles.

Most recently, he served as Philly’s AHL coach in Lehigh Valley and was thought to be a leading candidate -- if not a lock -- for an assistant gig with the Flyers under new head coach Dave Hakstol.

“Obviously, if there were another head-coaching position with another team in the NHL, I would want to do that,” Murray said in late May. “I’m also very realistic where things are in the game and my age now and years of experience I have in the game as a head coach.

“Would I embrace an assistant’s role? Absolutely.”

Well, Murray certainly embraced the assistant’s role... just in a different city than most expected.

very puzzling. Terry Murray seemed all but locked in to join Hakstol’s staff weeks ago and now BUF has hired him

— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) June 18, 2015

As for Barr, the 54-year-old is a veteran of over 600 games and has a wealth of experience as an NHL assistant, having served in that role for the Devils, Wild and Avalanche. He was dismissed by then-New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello midway through last season, along with Peter DeBoer.