Vesey Sweepstakes Have Begun
Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey is now an unrestricted free agent. Check out the latest on where he could sign and how long it could take to get him under contract.
TSN.CA: Agent Peter Fish, who represents unrestricted free agent left wing prospect Jimmy Vesey, said it could take several days before his client signs with an NHL club. “I would say the earliest may be Friday or Saturday, but I wouldn’t expect it to drag on much into the following week,” said Fish. The Buffalo Sabres, who acquired Vesey’s rights from the Nashville Predators earlier this year, remain in the mix among the clubs interested in signing him.
ESPN.COM: Joe McDonald lists the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs as “strong contenders” for Vesey. The Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins are also believed among the possible suitors.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox has the latest collection of Vesey rumors. The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupon reports Vesey could reach a decision on Thursday or Friday. Jimmy Murphy cites sources claiming the Vesey camp has “zeroed in” on the Blackhawks and Devils, though he warns that could change. WKBW’s Nick Filipowski reports negotiations with the Sabres were ongoing. Bleacher Report’s Adrian Dater believes Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello’s close ties to eastern U.S. college hockey gives that club an advantage.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen lists the Bruins, Leafs, Sabres, Rangers, Blackhawks and Devils as the favorites to land Vesey.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc cites a source claiming the Blackhawks have a very strong interest in signing Vesey,
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Justin Tasch reports Vesey’s agent said he would be surprised if the New York Rangers weren’t interested in his client.
NJ.COM: Chris Ryan notes TSN’s Darren Dreger include the Devils among the contenders for Vesey’s services.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jonathan Bombulie reports the Pittsburgh Penguins are among a handful of teams to court Vesey, though they’re not considered among the front-runners to get him.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports limited salary-cap space will likely prevent the Philadelphia Flyers from bidding for Vesey.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for my expectation of Vesey making his choice today. Looks like this could go on for a few more days. To be fair, I don’t blame him for taking his time and considering which club will be the best fit.
The Blackhawks and Penguins give him an opportunity to play for a Stanley Cup contender right away, alongside superstars such as Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Rebuilding clubs like the Sabres, Devils and Leafs give him a better chance of earning top-six minutes.
The Bruins give him the chance to play close to home, while the Rangers have a good record of successfully incorporating college prospects into their lineup. The Isles are looking for depth at left wing and Vesey might have the opportunity to skate alongside superstar John Tavares.