Jimmy Vesey spurns Predators, testing free agency after ‘bad advice’

Jimmy Vesey spurns Predators, testing free agency after ‘bad advice’

The Nashville Predators were counting on Harvard star and 2012 draft pick Jimmy Vesey to give their lineup an offensive boost now that his NCAA career is over.

But not only is Vesey not joining the Predators’ Stanley Cup push, he may not join them at all.

As first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN, Vesey’s representatives informed the Predators on Monday night that he will be testing free agency on Aug. 15 rather than signing with the team that drafted him.

It’s a stunning disappointment for GM David Poile and the Predators, in the sense that they thought Vesey was practically part of the roster. According to Poile, Vesey informed assistant GM Paul Fenton before the NHL trade deadline that he would not test free agency and sign with Nashville.

Predators officials attended Vesey’s last college game on Friday, asked for a meeting and were never given one. "I clearly believe that Jimmy has received bad advice and bad counsel,” Poile said on Monday, via Adam Vingan.

Vesey has scored 56 goals in 70 games in his last two seasons of college. He was offered the moon from Nashville: Poile said Vesey was offered a top six role, playoff ice time and “a chance to burn a year of his entry level contract.” As we discussed on our podcast, there was strong talk that Vesey was promised a top-line left wing position, playing with Ryan Johansen.

Via Vingan of The Tennessean, here’s the timeline as spelled out by Poile:

Poile said he’s still hopeful that Vesey signs with Nashville eventually. Wherever he signs, it won't be for financial reasons off the bat, because no matter where he signs it'll be for an entry-level contract.

But if not, where does Vesey end up?

Well, there’s this team in Toronto that currently employs his father as a scout and drafted his younger brother Nolan in 2014 … so that’s a possibility, one assumes.

Look, Vesey is doing what he's allowed to do under the terms of the CBA. That's fine. Not the first NCAA star, not that last.

However, if he told the Predators that he'd sign with them, and told them before the deadline ... that's straight up unprofessional. Especially when you consider the Predators approached the deadline with that in mind. We don't often see Poile this frustrated -- the last time was when Jason Spezza spiked a trade to the Preds -- and it may have been warranted.


Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.