It seems like the Buffalo Sabres are chasing after an old flame.
Over the weekend Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman dropped a very interesting tidbit of information regarding the Buffalo Sabres and their offseason plans. It was almost a throwaway note in a larger paragraph about some potential offseason moves around the league, but due to the history between the player and the team it was a note that really stood out to yours truly.
The Sabres have talked to the Rangers about Jimmy Vesey. The Flames tested the market on James Neal. The Blackhawks are looking for a defenceman. Toronto’s asking price for Nikita Zaitsev is either another defenceman, or something they can use to get one. They will have no shortage of options if they do decide to move Nazem Kadri (Winnipeg is on his no-trade list, so he’d have to be approached about it.) Loui Eriksson’s agent, JP Barry, confirmed on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver on Friday that it is time for the winger to move on. Other teams believe the Capitals are in total "go for it" mode.
Jimmy Vesey, that is a name that the Buffalo Sabres fan base remembers very well. Vesey of course quite publicly rejected the Buffalo Sabres organization as a free agent not all that long ago, and that is no doubt still very fresh in the minds of the fans in that city. The Sabres of course had tried to woo Vesey over to their organization when they acquired his rights from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a third round pick in 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Of course at the time it was Tim Murray who sat in the general manager's chair in the Sabres organization and now it would be Jason Botterill who would be looking to acquire Vesey from the Rangers.
In spite of that however Vesey made it clear that he had no interest in becoming a member of the Sabres organization when he rejected the advances of Tim Murray, eventually signing with the Rangers instead. This time around however Vesey would have no say in the matter, although he would effectively be a rental for the Sabres with only one year remaining on his current deal. If Botterill is going to give up a premium to get the Rangers to relinquish Vesey, he had better be certain that Vesey will be willing to sign an extension with a team he once turned down.