Havard Crimson winger.
2016 Hobey Baker award winner.
ECAC Player of the Year.
Former Nashville Predator pick.
North Reading native.
Free agent, as of midnight today. You might've heard about it.
The teams in on him at the moment will be the Buffalo Sabres first, as they have his exclusive rights, then a mishmash of no less than 5 other teams. He has ties to the Leafs as his father works with the organization, Chicago's scouting people (including Stan Bowman) have been about, the Devils and the Flyers are looking like dark horses, the Rangers have been linked as a potential fit for him...and of course the Boston Bruins, who've been linked to him since the beginning when he announced his decision to go FA.
Here's what we know about his chances of becoming a Bruin:
- His agent Peter Fish (of BU fame) has stated that "I think he’d love for the Bruins to be one of those teams. I assume that we will be taking a call from them." and when in discussing the team, he has frequently only had positive things to say.
- Vesey's camp, and his agent in particular, has been successful in getting players playing time on the Boston roster. His agent has been able to get Kevan Miller a nice contract (for Kevan, I mean.) and Frank Vatrano has been one of the brighter prospects to come out of the NCAA so far that could easily make the roster out of camp. It stands to reason that Vesey won't have to wait long to get into a discussion with Don Sweeney if he decides to seriously consider Boston as a candidate.
- Vesey's getting the same deal no matter who he signs with; a flat rate of two years, 925k. The only thing they can guarantee is bonuses. Don seems to like offense on deals when he can get them, so...
- New Jersey has Taylor Hall. That means they don't need high scoring winger all that much any more. They will likely be out of the running quickly if bidding gets too much.
- Almost every team linked to him is in a postion of "I want him" other than "I need him". That might mean some GMs may, in fact, not want him as much as Boston might.
- Fish stated on WEEI.com that they looked at the Bruins depth chart and "There’s obviously room on their depth chart for Jimmy". Currently, the LW depth goes Marchand, Frank Vatrano, [SPACE], Matt Beleskey, and then the Providence players like Seth Griffith. One could make the arguement that Ryan Spooner could be moved to wing, but early returns on such an experiment has bore little fruit. I certainly wouldn't recommend doing that again.
- Everyone around here loves a big dude who can hit and score, right? He'd be the easiest member of the roster to sell were he signed.
- The Bruins still have quite a bit of quality forward depth, even after contracts and players leaving. He is less of a "need" and more of a "want" at this point. The continued solid performance of Seth Griffith in Providence might mean he finally makes the big club for good.
- Apparently this is going to take a long-ass time while he hears each team's individual pitch and mulls it over, so the Bruins are going to have to put on the best possible pitch for a guy whose theoretically lived in Massachusetts long enough to know the pluses and minuses of playing here already.
- The half dozen teams he'll get into discussion with, quite honestly, probably need him a lot more than Boston does. New York especially needs players that aren't objectively bad or old if they want to continue competing.
- Chicago's in the mix after having scouted him all summer. Chicago means practically automatic playoffs at this point (although things can change), and he'll get to play with some name talent and be on TV every other night. A mighty tempting offer for a cheap, good FA.
- Fish has also gone on record that some of the off-season rumors regarding Vesey's interest aren't true, without denying specific teams outright.
- Fish has also buttered up practically every team in the running, so while all his word about Boston is nice and it certainly seems interesting enough, he's also said nice stuff about Chicago's lineup and about Manhatten.
- Buffalo will be in this to the end. This may not sound like much now, but getting to play with a young team that's slowly getting...somewhere...is probably going to be eating at him for awhile. Plus, they get to talk to him first. It'd also mean that Buffalo will come up with all sorts of goofy ideas to try and keep him within New York state.
- He might have to switch wings if he wanted to be in Boston longer than a few months, as DJ Bean brought up in his article on WEEI. I personally see more of a use for him on the left wing but this is on the bottom of the list for this reason.
- There's always a chance some other team not listed shows Vesey an offer he likes better than everyone else's. Maybe San Jose or Carolina have something up their sleeves, for example.
With that in mind, I think it could go either way, but I feel the odds may not entirely be in Boston's favor. So what do you think? Do you think they'll get him? Do they even need him in your opinion?