In fact, this doesn't change that much in the grand scheme of things. Maybe this means the Preds have to depend one of the Kevin Fiala, Austin Watson, Vladislav Kamenev, Colton Sissons, Justin Kirkland, or Pontus Åberg bunch earlier than expected. Maybe this means they hold on to Colin Wilson instead of trading him, much to the delight/anguish of people who like to comically overreact in comments sections. Maybe this means Nashville snags someone in free agency over the next two years. Who knows? That's the hockey side of it. The best days are coming for this team, and if some kid and his family with a Harvard degree chooses to go elsewhere, that's on him.
I do happen to agree that Jimmy Vesey is passing up a bigger payday in Nashville. Instead of playing beside established NHL players in their prime or entering their prime (Johansen, Neal, Forsberg, Smith, and those aforementioned prospects), he'll likely be playing beside some other kids in Toronto or possibly on a third line role in Boston for the same money, or less thanks to their ridiculous income taxes. If it's about the money, Nashville would've made more sense due to being more likely to hit his performance bonuses, which are the same everywhere under the CBA for entry level contracts, due to playing in a top line role.
During the third period last night, Poile got on the TV broadcast and addressed the Vesey situation. It was awkward, but he sounded better than he did during the press conference.
If that's all accurate, which we don't have a reason to believe otherwise, then Vesey and his advisors don't look great in the situation. Jeff Kealty has been spending way too much time working with Vesey for the family to blow off a meeting with the Preds brass. That's not a good look. We have been critical of David Poile many times on here, even in the last two years. But he can't make a player sign a contract, especially one in college.
In the CHL, a player has to sign an ELC to continue playing in North America after their juniors career ends (rare exception: college hockey after juniors like Joel Ward). The drafting team has the security of the player rights. Only in college hockey can a player ride out a drafting team like this. Like I said on Twitter; don't worry, this will be fixed during the next lockout.
So please, keep drafting European players. We're doing good in that area.
While the Vesey saga isn't over anytime soon, Poile at least did his best to share with us that he tried to follow through with his claim. That doesn't mean he gets a free pass here, as he made the organization look weak and chose to use the media and the team website as sales tools. I'm okay with the fact he stood pat at the deadline, and I'm all right with the idea of pursuing Vesey, but this was always a risk. Sure, it may make more financial sense for Vesey to sign in Nashville, but like the sport itself... hockey players are tough to predict.
Personally, I hope he signs in Toronto. In addition to the media pressure in Toronto, playing beside other kids and becoming the Oilers-East, by signing with the team that employs his father... Nashville has the faint hope of getting some type of restitution for tampering. It's worth a shot. Plus, the other GM's might actually stand with Poile on this to get this loophole closed.
Before the Jimmy Vesey situation got to this point, I was already happy with the roster now, and where it's going. David Poile doesn't owe us anything. What he does owe is a strong talk in that locker room. This could be the one moment that either kills the momentum of this team, or makes them stronger, or does neither. Judging by last night, it clearly mattered to the organization. Now it's up to the players to show how much it really mattered to them. So by all means, cheer for this team. This is right up there with Joe Micheletti gushing about Patrick Kane's goal with six skaters on the ice celebrating as yet another instance of the hard road this fanbase, team, and franchise chose. But when it finally works out, even if it's just one time, it'll all be worth it. Accept the reality: no one is going to love us but us.
Here are your links. Enjoy.
Nashville Predators News & Notes
NHL week ahead: Preds, Penguins will impact playoff races | SI.com
Including their own, right? They left off the games against the Stars, which are massive for the division title.
NHL - Sizzling Nashville Predators will make some noise in playoffs | ESPN
Vesey or not, there's still plenty of reason to be excited about this team in April.
Don't Blame Vesey For Decision Not To Join Predators | TSS
I do suppose we can blame the NHL for allowing the loophole, but I think more people are upset at how the organization was treated within the past week. That actually IS on the player and his people.
Other NHL Stuff
Reimer, Hamonic, Dupuis among 2016 Masterton nominees | Sportsnet.ca
This trophy is always awkward and silly. But it could be a nice feel good moment for Joe Thornton, who deserves it.
Why was Ryan O’Reilly nominated for a ‘perseverance’ award while awaiting trial for drunk driving? | SBNation.com
Let's be honest, as bad as this us... I fully expected worse nominees involving players that reside in Buffalo.
Players share culpability when it comes to safety | TSN
This is a great article, unfortunately. As in... the players need to take the safety aspects of the game more seriously for the sake of each other.
Capitals vs. Blue Jackets Recap: Caps Clinch Presidents' Trophy with 4-1 Win | Japers' Rink
Congrats to Barry Trotz for winning his first NHL trophy.
How the Oilers got it wrong from the start with Yakupov | Sportsnet.ca
AKA: How the Oilers usually get it wrong.
Link between fighting, concussions, ‘personal tragedies’ discussed in unsealed NHL emails | TSN
This should go over well in the comments section.
Another Day, Another Burning Skyscraper in Dubai | Gizmodo
Not the first time this has happened. Actually, this is now the 5th time.