Update on Jimmy Vesey – August 11, 2016
2016 Hobey Baker Award winning left wing Jimmy Vesey is finalizing his list of potential NHL destinations, but are the Boston Bruins among them? Read on for the latest.
BOSTON HERALD: Stephen Harris reports Harvard left wing and 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey is finalizing a list of no more than half-a-dozen NHL teams with which he’d like to speak. Vesey’s rights are currently owned by the Buffalo Sabres, but he’s indicated he will become an unrestricted free agent on August 15.
The Boston Bruins are believed to be on the 23-year-old’s list. Vesey is a Massachusetts native who grew up cheering for the Bruins. Harris also cites a well-informed area NHL scout speculating the Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers will be the finalists.
Harris notes the Sabres could also be among the finals candidates. So could the Toronto Maple Leafs, as Vesey’s father is a Leafs scout. Another source suggests the New Jersey Devils as a dark horse contender.
Harris reports all the teams will be making “virtually identical contract offers: Two years, with a $925,000 salary (including $92,500 each year in signing bonus) and the potential to add up to $2.85 million annually in performance bonuses.”
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cites two sources claiming the Bruins aren’t one of the three teams the Vesey camp is leaning toward, even though they’re among the clubs he intends to speak with this week. One of the sources claims the Blackhawks, Rangers and Devils are atop Vesey’s list.
Haggerty claims the Blackhawks made a big push for Vesey in recent weeks, and it appears playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on a Stanley Cup contender is a big selling point. Vesey’s agents have a good working relationship with Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, while the Vesey family has strong ties to Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can expect more speculation over Vesey’s plans leading up to August 15. There’s no certainty Vesey’s signs with a team on that date, as he and his camp could take more time to talk with other clubs. However, I suspect he’ll have his mind made up on Monday.
It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up. In the coming days, I daresay we’ll start seeing reports from Chicago, Toronto, New York, New Jersey and Buffalo citing insiders musing over Vesey’s plans.
Where Vesey signs could also affect the current trade and free agent market. Clubs that fail to land him could consider other options to bolster their rosters via trade or free agency heading into training camp next month.