|Jimmy Hayes says rumor about knocking Bruins to Jimmy Vesey ‘completely false’||08.29.16 at 2:19 pm ET|
Jimmy Hayes feels he deserved the criticism he got last season. In his words, he was once a Boston sports fan who was hard on struggling players.
So Hayes took the opportunity on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria Monday to stress that he has no problem playing in Boston. More specifically, he denied a rumor — which wasn’t actually reported by reputable outlets — that he told Jimmy Vesey not to sign with the hometown Bruins before Vesey chose Hayes’ brother’s Rangers.
“I don’t know how that got out there, because it’s completely false. Obviously we’ve always wanted Jimmy Vesey here and we thought it was a great fit for Jimmy Vesey to come here and play in Boston,” Hayes said. “He’s going to have an opportunity to play with some high-end players, but throughout the process I talked to him a bunch about coming and playing and trying to fit in with Boston and our system. I know a bunch of guys on our team did, as well.
“Sometimes people say that I think the media’s too hard on me. I never said that. You get what you get. I want to be more [of a contributor] this season and that’s what it is.”
Hayes had a wretched second half in his first season with the Bruins, scoring just one goal over his last 23 games of a campaign that saw him total only 13 goals.
Though the Bruins declined to buy Hayes out of his contract, general manager Don Sweeney said he had a “pretty frank discussion” with the player in which he challenged Hayes to be more competitive. Hayes seemed aware Monday that he’ll have to re-establish good will from Bruins fans in his second season in Boston.
“It’s a big hockey market and everybody here is passionate about their sports, from the Patriots to the Bruins, and they expect everyone to win,” he said. “If you’re not winning — and I wasn’t contributing at certain times; I’ve got to make sure that I’m doing that on a more consistent basis this year and be ready to play.”
To hear the complete interview, click here.
BRIGHTON — Don Sweeney’s sales pitch to Jimmy Vesey was built around being David Krejci’s left wing. Vesey passed, but it doesn’t seem Krejci’s losing sleep over it.
“I’m not really disappointed with that guy,” Krejci said Monday of the Rangers rookie. “Obviously I heard he’s a good player, but he has to prove himself on the NHL level. I was more disappointed we weren’t able to keep Loui.”
Loui is, of course, Loui Eriksson, and Krejci had thoughts on that, too. The Bruins declined to give the 31-year-old Eriksson the $6 million cap hit over six years he got from the Canucks, but they signed 32-year-old David Backes to a five-year deal worth the same annually.
Though the Bruins prefer Backes’ character and toughness, Eriksson is the better player at this point and figures to age better. Furthermore, saying goodbye to Eriksson meant once again taking away one of Krejci’s trusted wings in what’s become an annual occurrence; Krejci has also seen the departures of linemates Nathan Horton (2013), Jerome Iginla (2014) and Milan Lucic (2015) in recent seasons.
“I felt like we had some good chemistry going, so that was kind of a tough time to see [Eriksson] go, but I’ve gotten kind of used to seeing my favorite guys going away — Milan, Nathan, Iggy,” Krejci said. “I’m going to have to just play my game and try to find chemistry with whoever’s going to be on my line.”
Regardless of how Krejci’s dealing with Vesey’s decision, the truth is that the former Harvard captain would have been a good get for both the Bruins and Krejci, something Krejci himself admitted. With Brad Marchand a good bet to stay in Boston long-term, Vesey could have held down Boston’s second-line left wing job for years alongside Krejci if the two were to click. With David Pastrnak still emerging, the Bruins would have had the makings of a very strong line going forward.
Asked for clarification on his words about Vesey, Krejci said that he understood the hullabaloo that surrounded the player, especially considering the timing of his sweepstakes.
“Mostly in the summer there isn’t much that people talk about; this was kind of on top of the list for people to talk about,” Krejci said. “Obviously there was a little pressure on him, but he brought it on himself, I guess.”
|Matt Beleskey tweets Jimmy Vesey made ‘bad decision’ by choosing Rangers over Bruins||08.20.16 at 12:58 am ET|
A signing of Jimmy Vesey very well could have bumped Matt Beleskey down Boston’s depth chart, but the veteran left wing made it clear late Friday night that he wanted the Bruins to sign the former Harvard captain.
Beleskey tweeted his displeasure with Vesey’s agreement with the Rangers, tweeting to the Vesey that he’d made a “bad decision.”
Naturally, Beleskey’s seemingly tongue-in-cheek tweet was met with some super-hilarious and inappropriate responses from Rangers fans. This response was retweeted by Beleskey:
Rangers Twitter VS. Matt Beleskey rn pic.twitter.com/ZavUn1HY1W
— Chris (@MciIrath) August 20, 2016
|Bruins told Jimmy Vesey he would likely play with David Krejci||08.19.16 at 9:53 pm ET|
Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said on a conference call Friday night that the team did not make any promise of a top-six role before agreeing to terms with free agent left wing Jimmy Vesey.
“I never got the feeling that he was looking for any kind of promise,” Gorton said. “I think that he’s a pretty proud guy and I think he’s very confident in his abilities.”
Well, Vesey did have a promise of such a role from the Predators before he elected free agency and he had at least one more when he met with teams this week.
According to a source present at Wednesday’s meeting at Warrior Ice Arena, the Bruins told Vesey that he would be used as a top-six forward, most likely lining up to the left of David Krejci on Boston’s second line. Krejci was among the Bruins players present for Wednesday’s meeting, which lasted two and a half hours.
Vesey turned down the Bruins and six other teams — the Sabres, Blackhawks, Islanders, Penguins, Leafs and Devils — by electing to sign a two-year deal with the Rangers on Friday.
|Jimmy Vesey agrees to deal with Rangers||at 6:08 pm ET|
Nashville and Buffalo’s loss did not end up being Boston’s gain, as free agent left wing Jimmy Vesey chose to sign a two-year entry level contract with the Rangers on Friday.
The Rangers are the third team to own Vesey’s rights, but they’ll be the first to actually dress him for an NHL game. The Predators drafted Vesey with the 66th overall pick in 2012 draft, but after returning for a senior year at Harvard, Vesey elected to not sign with the team and let his rights with the club expire. That prompted Nashville to trade him to Buffalo for a third-round pick prior to the draft.
After becoming a free agent at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Vesey spent two days meeting with seven teams: the Bruins, Blackhawks, Devils, Rangers, Islanders, Penguins and Leafs. Boston was the final team with which Vesey met, as the B’s hosted him at their new practice facility in Brighton for 2 1/2 hours Wednesday.
Jimmy Vesey’s agent said that there are still “a handful of teams in the mix” as the player moves towards making his decision as to where he will sign his first pro contract.
Peter Fish said the Bruins are one of the teams still in the running and that reports that the Hobey Baker winner has whittled his list down to just the Rangers and Blackhawks are “not true.”
Vesey is expected to make his decision Friday or Saturday. After becoming a free agent at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, Vesey spent two days meeting with seven teams: the Bruins, Blackhawks, Devils, Rangers, Islanders, Penguins and Leafs. Boston was the final team with which Vesey met. He also met with the Sabres after they acquired his rights in a pre-draft trade with Nashville.
|Agent: Jimmy Vesey’s decision won’t come Thursday||08.18.16 at 12:36 pm ET|
Jimmy Vesey is done with his meetings, but it doesn’t appear an announcement will come just yet.
Sticking to his anticipated timeline of expecting a decision by the weekend, agent Peter Fish said Vesey will not make his decision on Thursday.
“No decision today,” Fish said in a text to WEEI.com, adding that the player was “just taking everything in from the past couple of days and trying to digest and sort through.”
In total, Vesey has met with eight teams, including the Sabres, who held his rights until he became a free agent on Tuesday. Since then, Vesey has met with the Bruins, Blackhawks, Devils, Rangers, Islanders, Penguins and Leafs. Boston was the final team with which Vesey met, with the sides spending two and a half hours meeting at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton.
Last season, Vesey won the Hobey Baker by putting up 24 goals and 22 assists for Harvard in 33 games.