The Chicago Blackhawks are seemingly desperate in the race for Harvard talent Jimmy Vesey. Both head coach Joel Quenneville and general manager Stan Bowman have visited Vesey in Foxboro to assess his talent. With a depleted roster, nailing Vesey to an entry level contract wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
There’s a ton of question marks heading into next season with the current Hawks roster. They had to dump Teuvo Teravienen, Bryan Bickell, and fan favorite Andrew Shaw for salary cap reasons. This is after losing players like Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, and Johnny Oduya for similar reasons last year. With recent losses, the Hawks will look towards a handful of young talents that will contend for a roster spot such as Nick Schmaltz, Tyler Motte, Ryan Hartman, and Tanner Kero
Chicago Blackhawks Pushing For Jimmy Vesey
Getting Vesey into the good ol’ Indian sweater would be quite the sight. The 6’1 winger had 24 goals and 22 assists in 33 games with Harvard University last season. After the Buffalo Sabres obtained the rights to Vesey, he announced that he still wanted to exercise his option to become an unrestricted free agent. The earliest Vesey will decide his future will be on August 15th, the day he can officially sign with a new club.
Although, it should be noted that the the Hawks aren’t the only team in the hunt for Vesey. Per reports, the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs are all going to make an attempt to sign the 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner. The Sabres will also continue to try and get Vesey’s signed to a contract.
What the Hawks can Offer Vesey
With entry-level contract restrictions coming into play, and ensuring that each team can make a similar pitch for Vesey; the decision will be based on non-financial considerations. The Hawks do have plenty to offer the youngster.
Vesey could play anywhere on the Hawks roster. He would benefit playing with Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews. One can see the obvious benefits of playing with these players, and under Joel Quenneville‘s tutelage in Saad’s own transformation from prospect to prominent forward. Vesey is obviously the type of player who can benefit from playing with the likes of Toews or Kane.
With an entry level contract starting at $925,000 in salary, plus bonuses, Vesey could be an extremely affordable option for Hawks considering their salary cap issues. Given his obvious talent, and the fact that no assets would need to be given up to acquire him, attempting to sign him is a no-brainer.
Will Bowman be able to land Vesey on August 15th? There are no guarantees and the competition is fierce, but at least he’s put the team in the conversation. From there, anything can happen.
BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 1: Jimmy Vesey #19 of the Harvard Crimson warms up prior to NCAA hockey in the semifinals of the annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament against the Boston College Eagles at TD Garden on February 1, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Eagles won 3-2. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)