Now that the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes have concluded, he took some time to talk about why he chose New York over the other teams interested in his services.
Nick Cotsonika tweeted many of the quotes from the media teleconference that Vesey held following the announcement Friday evening. From Twitter Cotsonika reported that:
- Why the Rangers? Vesey said it was a tough decision, but he was impressed with the Rangers and New York was somewhere he could play.
- Vesey said the thing that jumped out was that the Rangers seemed to really want him.
- Vesey confirmed he met with seven teams, plus Buffalo prior to this week.
- Asked about celebrity tweets, Vesey said they were “pretty funny” and “pretty cool.” He confirmed a couple celebrities were in a NYR video.
- When asked about the entire process, Costonika tweets that Vesey replied: “It definitely took on a life of it’s own. I’m not sure me or anyone else expected that.”
Out of all these quotes, the one that might raise eyebrows is the one about the Rangers “really wanting him” as opposed to the six other teams vying for his attention. In a salary cap world where every team is on an even playing field, and in this case, where said teams were restricted to offering the same amount of money, how could New York possibly stand out from other teams? Pittsburgh sent Crosby. The Blackhawks included Patrick Kane and a slew of recent championships to boast of. What else could it have been?
For one, Vesey added that the Rangers were a fit where he could “plug in right away” according to another tweet from Cotsonika. Stephen Whyno tweets that Vesey called the Madison Square Garden the “greatest arena in the world.” Joe McDonald adds that Chris Drury made “a big impression” when pitching him on playing in the Big Apple. Newsday’s Steve Zipay confirms this tweeting that Alain Vigneault also had a hand in making his mind up. Whyno tweets that Vesey’s lifelong friendship with Kevin Hayes and help throughout the process certainly contributed. Finally, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton confirmed that Vesey shores up a big hole at forward.
Much like the free agent chase of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, a coveted free agent appears to be signed for two main reasons: need and friendship. Before the Cap, it would have been a handful of teams–maybe three powerhouses of the time like Detroit, New Jersey, Colorado, that would have had the upper hand to gain the services of Vesey. The change shows that parity does rule and it certainly takes more than star power and Stanley Cup rings to secure the services of a coveted free agent.
Make sure you check out the updated New York Rangers depth chart.