On Monday, when it was revealed that Jimmy Vesey had no intention of signing with the team that drafted him, Nashville General Manager David Poile said he was “shocked.” “I clearly believe that Jimmy’s received bad advice and bad counsel,” he said.
His shock stemmed from being told by Vesey that he intended to sign with Nashville following the completion of his senior season at Harvard.
However, Vesey’s representatives deny the commitment to Nashville. In fact, they say that flat out told Poile before the trade deadline that Vesey would not join the team, reports ESPN’s Joe McDonald.
McDonald’s source says that Vesey informed the team of his decision before the trade deadline so they could go about their business at the deadline. That flies in the face of the suggestion from Poile that they stood pat at the deadline to make sure there was a spot in their top six for Vesey this season.
If that is the stance the Vesey camp is taking, it sheds some strange light on statements from Poile on Monday. “Up until Wednesday, I was sure we were going to sign Vesey,” he said Monday. Much of the criticism leveled at the 22-year-old prospect has been on the back of Poile’s assertion that Vesey told the Predators multiple times that he would sign with them.
“If there was any miscommunication between the sides, it was cleared up prior to the deadline, according to the source,” McDonald writes.
Vesey’s rights still with Nashville, and Poile has indicated that he will endeavor to change Vesey’s mind. However, Vesey is likely to hit free agency on August 15, when 29 teams will no doubt present his agent with a good reason to come to their city.
The frontrunners for his services are believed to be the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins. His father is a scout for the Maple Leafs and the team drafted his brother in 2014. The Bruins were his favorite team growing up in Massachusetts. There’s also believed to be something to the Harvard connection between Vesey and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.
Vesey’s camp plans on releasing a statement on the situation around noon Wednesday, according to ESPN.
Here’s the full official statement from Peter Fish and Pete Donatelli, Vesey’s advisors.
Statement from the Jimmy Vesey camp: pic.twitter.com/yresuXvPYD
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) March 30, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.