4:00pm: Teams not considered major contenders for Jimmy Vesey will nonetheless reach out to the representatives of the college star. Even if there is only the slightest chance that Vesey will even meet with the team, it is still worth it to inquire about this unique situation. Two such teams in this position are the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, though more will surely be calling.
12:32pm: The Boston Bruins are set up to make the final pitch to Vesey, according to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com. This may or may not give the Bruins an advantage over the competition but it can’t hurt Boston to have the final word as they work to recruit the hometown kid.
12:00pm: Even though they haven’t been linked previously as a contender for his services, we can nonetheless now count the Detroit Red Wings out of the Vesey sweepstakes. Ansar Kan of MLive reports that the Wings did indeed make a pitch to Vesey’s camp, focusing on the team’s depth and potential playing time, but according to assistant general manager Ryan Martin, the club was told that Vesey “preferred to play closer to home.” This news might potentially impact the Blackhawks odds of landing the coveted forward since Chicago also is not geographically close to Vesey’s hometown of Boston.
10:36am: Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News confirms the probability that Vesey will also meet with Chicago, Boston and the New York Rangers, “as soon as Wednesday,” before making his final decision by week’s end.
Jimmy Vesey, and speculation surrounding with whom the former Harvard star would sign his first pro contract, has dominated NHL headlines for weeks seemingly. With time having run out on Buffalo’s window of exclusivity to get the young forward under contract, any other club interested in bringing Vesey into the fold can officially begin negotiating with his representation as of 12:01am today. Even though it’s been reported Vesey will likely not sign until later this week, Pro Hockey Rumors will continue to monitor the latest news today using this post with updates appearing at the top of this post.
According to Mark Divver of The Providence Journal, Vesey is set to meet with the Isles, Penguins, Leafs and Devils today. While it was expected that essentially every NHL club would express at least some interest in adding Vesey to their ranks, the Penguins have rarely been listed among the top suitors up to this point. But the opportunity to play with two of the world’s best players – Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin – and for a team fresh off a Stanley Cup win has to be enticing so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise Vesey would at least meet with the Pittsburgh contingent as he weighs his options.
It’s likely that Vesey and his reps will also take meetings with other teams throughout the week before making his decision. Chicago has often been listed as a potential front-runner in the sweepstakes and Boston is Vesey’s hometown team so expect both of those clubs to also get a shot to woo him in person.