If you’ve been paying attention to news around the NHL, you’ve probably heard about recent Hobey Baker-winning forward Jimmy Vesey becoming an unrestricted free agent as of Tuesday. The 23-year-old winger from Massachusetts put up 46 points in 33 games with Harvard in the 2015-2016 season. Reports have surfaced from the Detroit beat that the Red Wings made a push for Vesey, but at the end of the day could not make the player’s short list:
Vesey is one of the highest-sought college free agents in some time, after capping his standout four-year career at Harvard by winning the Hobey Baker Award as the top college player.
Many expect the skilled winger to make an immediate impact in the NHL.
"We did our best," Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. "We spoke to his agent about depth and opportunity. He said he preferred to play closer to home."
The list of teams the 23-year-old Boston native is rumored to have interest in includes Chicago, New Jersey, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Buffalo and his hometown Bruins.
The first thought that comes to mind is that if the reason really was wanting to play closer to home, then why is Chicago on that list? Obviously it’s easy to add one of the league’s keystone franchises, but obviously, Chicago is further away from his hometown than Detroit is.
If you ask me, the real reason is obvious. The Red Wings have a glut of forwards, with little-to-no room for younger players to earn roster spots. This would put Vesey in the AHL, and there are plenty of other teams around the league who are willing to give him a shot. For me, Vesey is a fine player, but this illusion that he could be an impact player seems a touch overboard.
Additionally, Khan says that defenseman Ryan Sproul is expected to sign a one-year extension sometime before training camp begins in September, and the team has reached out to veteran Dan Cleary about an AHL deal.