There may be a number of transactions in the National Hockey League that are all waiting on the decision of free agent Jimmy Vesey before being completed.
In a recent article penned for the Hockey News, Lyle Richardson has speculated that with so many teams hopeful to acquire Vesey, the losers could be left scrambling to make additions at the forward position. and could even result in a numbers of trades.
Four names in particular stood out to us, in part because they have all been names that have surfaced in trade rumors this summer at one point or another. Those names are Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane, Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, Toronto Maple Leaf forward Joffrey Lupul and Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar.
The two best options here are undoubtedly Landeskog and Tatar who don't come with any of the baggage that Kane and Lupul bring to the table. Both those players would likely come at a premium, but with the Red Wings over the cap and the Avalanche already hinting at a desire to trade Landeskog this summer, they are within the realm of possibility.
Kane and Lupul on the other hand will be harder to move, with Lupul's injury history and Kane's history of issues both off the ice and within his own locker rooms as well as a hefty cap hit for both players, the desire to acquire them will be at close to an all-time low. With that said teams who are desperate after losing the Vesey sweepstakes could still pull the trigger.
Richardson also stated that free agent signings could be the order of the day for those teams:
Free-agent pickings are slim. Forwards Jiri Hudler, Radim Vrbata, Alex Tanguay, Matt Cullen and Brandon Pirri are the best of the bunch.
As we now know, Vrbata has already agreed to terms, so those already slim, and in some cases questionable, pickings are going fast.