It’s obvious the Predators are incredibly displeased with Jimmy Vesey’s decision to opt for free agency, but the college standouts advisors released a statement Wednesday that said Nashville’s recounting of the events leading up to Vesey’s decision to test free agency are “not accurate.”
In a lengthy statement, Vesey’s advisory group, Global Hockey Consultants, said that Nashville was told prior to the trade deadline that the signing of Vesey or his choice to opt for free agency shouldn’t have any impact on their moves at the trade deadline.
“Nashville now claims and it has been widely reported that they were without knowledge of this possibility (of Vesey becoming an unrestricted free agent) and that this lack of knowledge precluded the hockey club from acquiring a player at the trade deadline,” the statement reads, via ESPN’s Craig Custance. “This contention is not accurate. The Nashville Predators were informed prior to the trade deadline that they should conduct their business as they saw fit and that the potential of signing or not signing Jimmy Vesey should not be a factor in their decision.”
This contradicts what Predators GM David Poile told The Tennesean’s Adam Vingan following Vesey’s decision to test the open market. Poile said that “every indication” was that Vesey would join the Predators.
“His dad had told me, had told (Predators coach) Peter Laviolette, Scott Nichol, Paul Fenton, that his son was going to sign with us,” Poile told Vingan. “And Jimmy himself told Paul Fenton prior to the trade deadline, which was an important time for us because it was our last opportunity to change our team. We told him if he was going to sign with us we were going to keep a position available for him, and he told us that he was going to sign with us.”
In all likelihood, the position left open for Vesey would have been a top-six spot, too, effectively making him their deadline acquisition. Now, without Vesey, there are some who feel the Nashville roster is missing at least one piece that could make them solid Stanley Cup contenders.
The statement by Vesey’s advisors also touched the idea made that Vesey’s decision to become a free agent could hurt the 22-year-old financially. The choice was not made based on money, according to the statement, and said the claim Vesey “will lose any money is speculative at best.” His advisory group believes finding the right fit for Vesey, wherever that may be, will more than help him recoup any potential financial losses.
Global Hockey Consultants added the decision made was done so with the best intentions for Vesey’s hockey career. Beyond hockey, the statement also acknowledges that not signing with the Predators will allow Vesey to graduate from Harvard.
“Jimmy and his family are very proud and pleased that this will indeed happen,” the statement reads. “The Harvard community and alumni have rallied around him. Jimmy is very appreciative of this support and the fact he will now be able to graduate.”
Vesey captained the Crimson this past season, and has scored 56 goals in the past two seasons for Harvard. He played for Team USA at the World Championships in 2015, recording three assists in nine games.