The Sabres made their promotional pitch. Jimmy Vesey liked what he heard.
The next step requires something that’s often in short supply: patience.
Buffalo General Manager Tim Murray, coach Dan Bylsma and Jerry Forton, the assistant director of scouting who has a prior relationship with Vesey, met with the prospect Thursday in Boston. They didn’t demand to know whether he’ll sign before becoming an unrestricted free agent Aug. 15. They just wanted to show Vesey what the organization is all about.
“The meeting went very well, I'd have to say,” Vesey’s agent, Peter Fish, said Friday in an email to The Buffalo News. “However, until we sit down with Jimmy and fully digest everything we heard yesterday, I can't really comment on how it might affect Aug. 15th.”
Buffalo will wait while Vesey, a scoring sensation and Hobey Baker winner at Harvard, evaluates his options:
* He can join the Sabres and friend Jack Eichel in the near future.
* He can wait until next month, meet with other teams and sign with one of them.
* He can wait until next month, meet with other teams and decide the Sabres are the best fit.
Murray and Bylsma traveled to Boston as the spokesmen for the Sabres, and they brought Forton because he helped recruit Vesey to Harvard while working for the Crimson as an assistant coach.
Said Murray: “We went down there, we talked to him about the city and the organization, then we came home.”
Vesey stayed in the Boston area, where he'll continue to play in a summer league with Eichel.
"I just try to pass him the puck in this league, and maybe he'll think I'll do that during the season if he wants to come," Eichel told NHL.com this week. "I don't know if I want to be called a recruiting tool. I think more than anything I just inform him about what Buffalo is like and what it would be like for him to come.
"I know, obviously, the Sabres want him a lot, and for a good reason."
The duo's team leads the Foxboro Sports Center Pro League with 27 goals and a 3-1-1 record. The Sabres hope the connection and camaraderie help sway Vesey toward Buffalo and a line with Eichel.
"Obviously, it's easy to play with someone as talented as he is," Vesey told NHL.com. "He sees the ice really well. I like to get open and get myself into scoring areas. I don't even need to yell, he always finds me.
"We both see the ice really well, so we complement each other pretty well out there."