Sabres set to meet with Jimmy Vesey as he eyes free agency

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Look, the Buffalo Sabres can fly a party to Boston for a sit down with Jimmy Vesey and dangle the team’s growth potential and the chance for the 23-year-old forward to play with his pal Jack Eichel, but no matter what they do today, July 7, the kid is sticking with waiting until August 15 to make a decision on his future.

As NHL free agency slows down, one of the unsigned names out there is Vesey, the reigning Hobey Baker Award winner, whose rights were dealt from the Nashville Predators to the Sabres last month for a third-round pick.

David Poile did all he could to entice Vesey to sign after his season was done, but when it became clear he was going to wait until mid-August to explore unrestricted free agency, he flipped him for the pick that would turn into Rem Pitlick in last month’s draft.

Now it’s the Sabres’ turn to give their pitch; but are they one of the favorites? Vesey’s brother, Nolan, currently in development camp with Toronto Maple Leafs, isn’t giving anything away, and neither is Vesey himself.

“I think we have a small number of teams that I think we’ll really be focusing on,” Vesey told Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com on Wednesday. “So, Aug. 15 we’ll start talking to them and see what they say.”

Vesey is currently playing in a summer league full of NHLers from the Boston area. One of his Team Harlow teammates is Eichel, and while the Sabres have over a month to change his mind, other teams are eagerly waiting their opportunity to chat. Mark Divver of the Providence Journal Tweeted that Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman was in attendance for the Vesey’s game Wednesday night.

Even the newest of Buffalo’s summer signings is trying to sell Vesey on the franchise. During his introductory press conference on Thursday, Kyle Okposo was asked his thoughts on how he’d lure the Harvard product to Buffalo.

“I would tell him that we’re going to be a good team for a long time, and it’s going to be a fun organization to play in,” he said via the Buffalo News. “There’s not going to be those rough times ahead. We’re going to be good.”

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!