The story of highly-sought-after pending UFA Jimmy Vesey has taken a few twists and turns in the last few months: Vesey allegedly told the Predators he would sign with them, then didn’t and denied ever saying he would. He was traded to Buffalo, where he would have the chance to play with good friend Jack Eichel. Despite the opportunity in Buffalo, Vesey has remained firm about getting to free agency on August 15.
It’s believed the Bruins, Maple Leafs, and Sabres are among the frontrunners to land Vesey; he played in Harvard, his dad and brother are currently in Toronto as a scout and draft pick respectively, and the Sabres have his friend Eichel and paid a third round pick to acquire him. However, Vesey’s agent Peter Donatelli told Powers his camp won’t “pigeonhole” themselves by making a decision before speaking to teams. Now it appears that a new team has entered the sweepstakes: the powerhouse Chicago Blackhawks.
Donatelli told The Athletic’s Scott Powers that Chicago “will be a team we want to talk to on August 15”.
On the surface, there appears to be a great fit with Chicago on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa. The pairing played with several different players last season after Brandon Saad was traded to Columbus last summer. The Blackhawks can offer him a big chance to play with two of the best players in the game and a chance to win now, whereas the other teams believed to be on the list are all in various states of rebuilding or re-tooling. Vesey would also give the Blackhawks a cheap young talent to help offset the recent losses of Teuvo Teravainen and Andrew Shaw.
With the power squarely in Vesey’s hands to choose his destination, Donatelli said it will be up to each team to sell their program to Vesey.