NHL Rumor Mill – August 19, 2016
Updates on Jimmy Vesey and Tobias Rieder in today’s NHL rumor mill.
**UPDATE** The New York Rangers today announced the signing of left wing Jimmy Vesey. I’ll have more on this in Saturday’s morning coffee headlines.
ESPN.COM: Joe McDonald reports 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey is expected to reach a decision by Friday or Saturday on which NHL team he’ll sign with. Over the past week the 23-year-old met with representatives of the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. According to one of Vesey’s agents, none of those teams were told they were out of the running.
The Blackhawks brought along Patrick Kane for their meeting with Vesey. Islanders captain John Tavares also spoke with the youngster, as did Cory Schneider and Kyle Palmieri of the Devils and New York Rangers forward Kevin Hayes. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby also reached out to Vesey. McDonald speculates Vesey’s decision could come down to which club can give him the best opportunity to play a top-six role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, it was reported the Detroit Red Wings contacted the Vesey camp but were told the Massachusetts native prefers playing for a club closer to home. My guess is the Bruins, Devils, Islanders and Rangers stand the best chance of landing him. Hopefully we’ll find out by Saturday.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka said there’s no change in the club’s contract negotiations with restricted free agent forward Tobias Rieder. Chayka remains hopeful of getting Rieder under contract before the start of the season, saying he believes Arizona is the right place for him. “As of two weeks ago, Rieder’s camp was seeking a two-year deal with an average annual value of $2.75 million, but the Coyotes are more likely thinking somewhere around $2.2 million or $2.3 million.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides really aren’t that far apart dollar-wise. A two-year deal at between $2.4 – $2.5 million seems a reasonable compromise. Earlier this summer, there was speculation Rieder could bolt to the KHL, but I suspect that was merely his camp angling for leverage. His preference appears to be re-signing with the Coyotes.
The 23-year-old completed a three-year entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights. His annual cap hit was over $853K . He’s not going to get an offer sheet and staging a contract holdout could hurt his performance this coming season. I doubt the Coyotes are keen to shop him. Expect Rieder to be re-signed before the start of the season.