Now that Hobey Baker Award winner Jimmy Vesey is officially an unrestricted free agent, the former Harvard University star and his representatives can start meeting with other teams. That process is reportedly slated to begin today in Boston.
The Providence Journal, which has extensively covered Vesey's summer league work in Foxborough, Mass., is reporting that meetings will be held today with Vesey and four teams: Toronto, the New York Islanders, New Jersey and Pittsburgh.
The Islanders and Stanley Cup champion Penguins are seemingly the latest to enter the Vesey Watch, but he would provide another cheap, young option on their wings. The Islanders lost Kyle Okposo in free agency to the Sabres and need help up front while the lure of playing with the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin would certainly be something for the Penguins to sell.
The expectation is that Vesey will meet with the New York Rangers, Chicago and Boston as soon as Wednesday and make a decision either Thursday or Friday.
The Sabres held exclusive negotiating rights to Vesey since acquiring him from Nashville for a third-round pick on June 20. They met with him in Boston on July 7 and the Vesey camp has maintained Buffalo remains a player in their decision, even though Vesey has opted to open negotiations with other teams.
As noted in our story Monday, this is not a bidding war. Contract terms are dictated by the CBA and it's virtually certain any team would offer Vesey a max entry-level contract, with a cap hit of $925,000 and bonuses taking the deal north of $3.7 million per season.