Don’t count on Jimmy Vesey joining the RangersJuly 7, 2016, by
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",