Don’t count on Jimmy Vesey joining the Rangers

July 7, 2016, by

Jimmy Vesey (Harvard - 19)

Jimmy Vesey has a lot of admirers. Not least in Toronto, Boston and the recently highly active Sabres who acquired his rights. The Rangers are apparently also in on the young, soon to be college free agent but the timing of Vesey’s public saunter toward free agency is not good for the Rangers and they cannot wait for Vesey. Vesey should therefore be treated as a bonus and nothing more.

There’s no doubt that the Rangers would be better off if they could entice Vesey to New York (on an entry level deal) and add a quality prospect for nothing but dollars and an NHL contract. For a talent pool as diminished as the Rangers’ that would be a great scenario.

Any prospect that has finished his college career the way he did (104 points in 70 games, during his final two years at Harvard) and who has his finishing ability and size (6’1, about 200lbs) would be a great add for the Rangers.The problem is that August 15th (when Vesey becomes a free agent) is a long way off right now and the Rangers will need to address their issues long before then. They cannot wait for Vesey.

Vesey will be watching closely the developments of all his serious suitors. If he really is focussed in on staying in the Northeast, he’ll have seen the Sabres add talent upfront, seen Toronto get better and will have seen David Backes join the Bruins. He’ll also have seen the Rangers be relatively inactive. What’s the best fit for the player? The best fit won’t be off the back of a hasty decision – something else that makes the Rangers an unlikely destination.

For the Rangers, they need to move on and move on quickly. Most teams will be settled with their rosters before mid August. Trade partners the Rangers might be looking for will surely want to do business before the Vesey sweepstakes. The likelihood is that the Rangers will need to have their restricted free agents and subsequent forward options resolved well before they get to take a shot at Vesey. It is far too much of a risk for the Rangers to wait for Vesey to be available to complete their business.

As of right now, the Rangers likely don’t have any space in their top six (apparently a guarantee Vesey is seeking) and maybe not even in their top nine set of forwards. With Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, JT Miller, Mats Zuccarello, Michael Grabner, Pavel Buchnevich and of course Kevin Hayes (depending on the intended position for Hayes) available to Alain Vigneault, the Rangers cannot make him any guarantees whatsoever.

Even accounting for any movement in the above group of forwards they cannot reasonably assume Vesey is coming to New York so they’d likely target a return that includes an NHL ready forward. The Rangers also cannot promise a rookie significant powerplay time, another assurance he is apparently seeking. Is there really a fit to be had?

The Rangers appear intent on rebuilding on the fly and trying to stay a contender. This leaves them in a catch 22 situation regarding Vesey. They should not (and cannot) wait to address the obvious flaws on the roster so any moves could potentially discourage Vesey from choosing the Rangers but they cannot plan for his arrival either. Indeed, a holding pattern may be a worst case scenario for the current roster.

The Rangers could benefit from Vesey but he doesn’t necessarily need them. Given the Rangers needs, the timing of this free agent courtship and the situation the Rangers find themselves in, it appears the Rangers and Vesey are not an ideal fit. Rangers’ fans shouldn’t expect Vesey any time soon.


"Don't count on Jimmy Vesey joining the Rangers", 2 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.


  1. Hey Yo Mikey says:

    Wasn’t counting on him at all to begin with anyway.

    • Egelstein says:

      Same here. Not at any point have I considered this at all likely to happen.

  2. amy says:

    we have some free agents to sign in Kreider, Hayes, miller and Mcilrath have a good day

  3. AD says:

    I’ve never thought we were in top 2-3 to sign Vesey but I still do not grasp why the Rangers need to move on and cannot be in the hunt in August. I don’t see any compelling reason why that cannot happen.

    What’s the difference, if any, between average TOI for a Vigneault/Rangers 3rd line vs 2nd line at the other top clubs? Probably not much, right? And any agent can see Rick Nash’s days as a Ranger are numbered.

    Also, a lot can happen to the Rangers roster over the next 3-4 weeks that could change/improve our profile.

    We may/may not sign Vesey, but think it is premature to kind of dismiss our chances at this stage as well.

  4. Walt says:

    We stood a snowballs chance in hell of signing this kid in the first place !!!!!

    The last time we went after a Hoby Baker player we got Gilroy, how did that work out, I forgot ????????

    Good luck to this kid just the same……………….

    Off to the beach with the grandkids, have a great day !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • cheech733 says:

      Walt, Gerbe won the Hobey Baker in his last year at BC!

      • Walt says:

        WOW !!! and how successful is he ??????????????

        • cheech733 says:

          Agree with your overall sentiment Walt. Just giving the guy his due as a fellow alum.

          Young, cheap talent is the most valuable commodity in the game today and I applaud the NYR for their interest but I agree we likely don’t have a shot.

  5. SalMerc says:

    Vesey is and always was a long shot. I highly doubt his demands are accurate, and if they are, we do not need another primadona in the clubhouse. That said, I am sure he can be a 3rd line guy, but he needs to do more than have a college career to play top six minutes.

    The way the Buffalo team is coming together, he may have a hard time breaking into their top 6 as well.

    I hope we are not done moving players, but all has become quiet in the NHL for a while as teams try to sign their own.

  6. Bloomer says:

    I think the Rangers chances of landing Vessey is as good as any. New York always attracts the college kids. He could play on a line with Hayes and Grabner.

  7. Alec says:

    Toronto’s cap situation sucks, Boston is a mess, Buffalo may not be able to give him what he’s looking for.

  8. 43 says:

    I don’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to play for the Rangers.

  9. Dave says:

    No one thought we would land Hayes…

  10. doug vincent says:

    The rangers do not “rebuild” on the fly. Simply because the term rebuild means to remove the old pieces and replace with fresh new pieces. The Rangers simply subtract a minor part, here and there, and replace it with another “C grade” minor player. Their need to be in the playoffs every year (management ego?), does not allow them to take the necessary actions to rebuild the team into a younger, faster, stronger model. Thus, Ranger fans continually watch a B+ talent level team, try to compete for the cup, vs A+ talent level teams……

    • joe719 says:

      Preach it, Brother!!! ‘Been saying the same thing for years!

    • 43 says:

      As far as B+ teams competing for A+ prizes, 2012 team was definitely an overachieving group, but in the end, they ultimately underachieved.

      However, 2014 and 2015, those teams were money. Last years team was better than the 2012 team, but they just didn’t have the chemistry. I think the Staal trade really discombobulated a lot of things to the point of them being FUBAR.

      Personally, I think last year was a down year and that this team will rebound. I don’t think this team wins the cup next season, but I wouldn’t count them out of the race either. Obviously there’s a lot of personal moves still to be made, but I don’t think this team will be a middle of the road team at all.

    • mattimar says:

      Do you think Zucc, Brass, Nash, Stepan, Hank, McD are not high level talent? .. The biggest issues from my perspective are that the D did not play like they had been over the previous years (blame who you want here), and they need to do a much better job coaching specialty teams. The fact that they have never tanked to the point where they could draft a Stamkos or Crosby, or Ovie or Eichel…is not something i worry about too much. They could have drafted better in other areas For sure, and they could stop trading high picks every year, but the fact that they are never bad enough to get a top two pick…. Cant do much about that…

  11. Mikeyyy says:

    The Rangers appear intent on rebuilding on the fly and trying to stay a contender

    Thanks for the giggle.

    • mattimar says:

      Why not? as long as they stop trading pieces for quick fixes..I am ok with that. Other than Hank their, core is not that old at all. THey do need to get young and quicker on blue line though…

  12. roadrider says:

    I wasn’t, but thanks anyway.

  13. pas44 says:

    I for one am going to give our sort of new, almost in full control GM the benefit of this year before I start to become depressed. I think he has to deal with some left over pieces but has the right plan in mind…

    I am all in for this season…. LGR ALL THE WAY!

  14. Other Dave says:

    Assuming Hayes will be the 3C, I don’t really see any reason we couldn’t guarantee someone a top 6 role knowing we’d be 9 forwards deep. Recreating the depth that Zucc-Brassard-Pouliot provided shouldn’t be just viewed as an accidental luxury.

  15. Randy says:

    I personally enjoy the fact that people are counting the Rangers out this coming season. It reminds the team that their sh*t still stinks and gives them a much needed edge to prove all of the naysayers wrong. Last year was a prime example of that – they came in to the season as a favorite, and although they put up a lot of points in the season, it was clear that they did not have that extra jam you need to make a run in the playoffs.

    Hopefully the club will feel disrespected this season and turn it around, this core of players is still very strong and can make it happen. I’m looking at you Kreider, Hayes, and Miller – if these guys can step up their play and bring some physicality, they will be hard to play against. That is a big IF.

    • Alec says:

      I just have no faith in AV coaching this team up with the skill set they have. So you fire AV before Xmas, who’s in the system to jump behind the bench?

      At this point, I’d put Nash on the 3rd line off wing, Kreider top 6 RW and plug Vesey in to top 6 anywhere. PP is a different kettle of fish.

      Great googly moogly, Slats has got to go play more golf and stop taking a paycheck.

      But that’s just me.

    • pas44 says:

      But this team was being counted out even at the start of last season when they were winning solely on Henrik’s Back…

      They didn’t look like it motivated them any that time… or at all during the season when the talk was, they stink…

      why would this team which is almost the same roster, except we lost some decent guys, prove naysayers wrong?

      if you ask me the guys getting their contracts may be less likely to try this season…


      Winter is upon us now…

      The White Raven Just Showed Up…

      I have hope, but I don’t think your point is that valid…

      even though, maybe your right


      • Alec says:

        No the team wasn’t counted out, even as fancy stats said they had issues. Other teams figured out the system by the start of November, but the wheels didn’t fall off into Girardi got hurt against VAN. After that AV had no answer to the problem.

        • pas44 says:

          could be, I just remember everyone saying how bad the team was really playing behind hanks incredible play…

          either way…

          do you think their attitude can make them play better skin wise…

          Funny, early in the downfall I said the locker room had issues, between O and D, I got thumbs down for it… but I really still see a bridge between the vets and the newbies…

          AV is not the kind of coach to mend this either…

          He treats kids poorly IMO

          who knows..

          LGR ANYWAY!!!

          • pas44 says:

            Most All Championship teams have that certain thing..

            Sully brought it to eh pens, I don’t see AV doing it for this team at all…

            wild card team at best as it stands now…

            at best…

            • pas44 says:

              last thing, Hanks done too, he gets more pissed then ever, he is starting to seriously freak out more and more…

              we need him rock solid…

        • Walt says:


          And there is where the problem is. The NHL had figured out what we were doing, like LA did during the PO’s, and AV couldn’t, and or wouldn’t make changes… What does that say about Bozo ????????? Then he plays Girardi with the knee cap issue, while a healthy DMC sits, and got splinters in his rump, and they say this clown is a coach, PLEASE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Rich says:

    Over the last 10 years, the only Hobey Baker award winners that have shown promise in the NHL are Eiichel, Gaudreau, and Carle.
    Just a observation.

    • Alec says:

      That level of production is pretty good no matter what, but with the league coefficient it probably shows his ceiling and not his floor.

  17. Rich says:

    By the way, Hayes and Vesey are very good friends. For whatever it’s worth.

    • Egelstein says:

      That might even work against NY though. If Hayes feels like AV has treated him fairly (let alone well), I’d be shocked. Gotta be a hard pill to swallow seeing a clearly-less-skilled Jesper Fast ahead of you night in night out, and you find yourself on the bench for typical growing pains mistakes while veterans of 5+ years who should know better make mistakes and don’t see a minute less of ice time. If Hayes is being honest with his good friend, I just don’t see him saying AV is a good coach to play for as a young guy just coming into the league. Miller, Hayes, McIlrath, and possibly Lindberg (depending on when his hip injuries actually started affecting his play) have all been jerked around by AV in recent years to varying degrees.

      • Walt says:

        How true what you say my man !!!! AV has been here too long as it is, and should be shown the door, with a size 12 boot up his tail end for screwing with all the kids minds !!!!!!!

        • BOBBY B says:

          Now Walt, be gentle, we all know AV is a pacifist. You are allowed to slap his hand 1 time with a plastic ruler.

      • John says:

        Hayes was the laziest player on the ice night in and night out, Jesper Fast was one of the hardest working players on the ice night in and night out, pretty simple explanation there.

  18. JM27 says:

    All of our free agents should be signed. If Vessey wants to sign with us he does and if we need to move a contract before the season starts we do. In my mind it’s a long shot that may turn into a nice surprise if it (not likely) happens.

  19. JoeS. says:

    I think the Rangers can wait. However, when did it become possible for someone that has never played in the league to get a garuntee of top six? This is one of the many problems with todays NHL.

    • JoeS. says:

      Typical Millennial generation BS, “I am owed this! Give me a trophy!” Prove it kid, come in the league and prove it like all the others did. Makes me hate hockey!

      • Egelstein says:

        I hate that they can make demands like that as well, however – I’m wondering if, like a lot of things in the internet age, this is something that players have been doing all along but it’s just nowadays we as fans are actually hearing about it whereas in the past it just never was newsworthy enough to garner a mention in sports periodicals…

        • Walt says:

          I’m afraid that in older days, the NHL was smaller, and a kid like this would be shown the front door, or maybe the back door, with no contract at all, if what Joe S is say is true?????????????? Bottom line, maybe we would be better served to not sign this pretty boy at all………….

      • John says:

        He can make any demands he wants obviously, considering 6 teams would love for this kid to play with them. And how is this just hockey? Eli Manning, kobe bryant?

  20. paulronty says:

    Hey the Rangers make their pitch to Vesey and he either opts in or out. There is nothing drastic that needs to be done. I’m sure everybody on here would be excited to get a prospect of this caliber. It’s like the first rounder we didn’t get this year. Rangers have just as much chance to get Vesey as anyone else because he hasn’t made up his mind.

  21. BOBBY B says:

    If this Vesey is as good as they say??, 1st thing he needs to do if he desires to play in the NHL, IS GROW A BEARD, the kid looks like he is 12 yrs old.

  22. Mattstake says:

    The Rangers are screwed for years to come w staal and girardi .. And Hank. Dump all of these guys for a whatever u can get and start over.

  23. Rick Kapossy says:

    You can’t say other teams are improved and can fit him in top 6. Obviously, if he can’t crack Rangers top 6 then we’re best team out of his choices. Apparently he’s friends with Hayes, which nobody ever mentions. He would be a good 3rd line wing with Hayes and if he develops, can take Nash’s spot when his contract is up in 2 seasons ( unless he gets traded before that) don’t count Ramgers out. I don’t see him going to Canada

  24. John says:

    The Rangers must find a way to move Nash Stahl or Girardi and take their bumps doing so
    Hopefully they can get lucky with what they get back
    Real lucky

  25. Teddymac says:

    I agree with Rick Kapossy. If Vesey is similar in talent to Hayes, then he probably won’t crack any good team’s top six. Hayes couldn’t,so why would Vesey? If Vesey is as good as Johnny Gaudreau, then he does deserve top six minutes. Remember, Vesey was only a mid round draft pick of Nashville and wasn’t even their top rated prospect going into last season. Why doesn’t he want to go to Nashville, a playoff team that he might crack the top six at ? That said, I hope the Rangers do get Vesey. They can’t seem to acquire any other good, young talent.

  26. Sabretooth says:

    Just curious why some say Buffalo can’t give him top-6 minutes? Everything we have done is to make room for him and make him comfortable.

    Jack Eichel, Sean Malone, Casey Fitzgerald, Jerry Fortin, Dan Bylsma…every single one of them has a personal connection to Jimmy and/or his family.

    Top-6 minutes? Absolutely.

    Kane – O’Reilly – Okposo
    Vesey – Eichel – Reinhart
    Moulson – Girgensons – Ennis
    Foligno – Larsson – Gionta

    Buffalo is a perfect fit for him, now and on the long-term…I think he could do a lot worse than Jack Eichel and what else I just laid out, it’s a no-brainer.

    As for the guy who said NY has the same chance as anyone else? Lmfao, no, no you don’t. I’m sorry, you have nobody nearly as good as Eichel will be.

    (You also have a weak prospect pool and no draft picks recentky to restock it.)

    • Rants says:

      But having lots of Top-6 talent doesn’t assure you’re going to play top minutes. Vesey to Rangers would give him the opportunity to play those minutes when there isn’t so much competition on those spots.

  27. Sabretooth says:

    On a side note: Theres been LOTS of talk of Rick Nash in Buffalo.

    You just wouldn’t get much for him, which is why I assume he’s still there.