NHL Rumours: Bruins make Vesey’s ‘short list’

Watch Harvard's Jimmy Vesey’s acceptance speech after winning the 2016 Hobey Baker Award.

Vesey confirms interest in Bruins, the Islanders as a spend to the cap team, and more to come in Thursday’s round-up of NHL news and rumours.

Bruins on Vesey’s short list

Harvard grad Jimmy Vesey will wait until he officially becomes an unrestricted free agent on August 15 before making a decision on his future.

The Buffalo Sabres used a third-round pick to acquire Vesey’s exclusive negotiating rights from the Nashville Predators ahead of the 2016 NHL Draft, but the 2016 Hobey Baker Award winner has made it clear he will hit the open market.

In an exclusive interview with Joe Haggerty as CSNNE.com, Vesey revealed that he has put together a short list of teams to consider.

“We have a little bit of a short list going that I’ve worked on with my agents and my family,” said Vesey. “We’re going to narrow it down as best as we can, and get through it as quickly as we can on Aug. 15.”

The 23-year-old did not elaborate on just how many teams he’s considering, but the North Reading, Massachusetts, native did single out the Boston Bruins as a potential destination.

“I’ve said it all along that Boston is definitely on my list of teams that I’d like to talk to,” said Vesey. “It’s a team that I’ve rooted for all my life, and it’s a team that I watched win the Stanley Cup in 2011. I’ll definitely be meeting with Boston in August.

“I was a huge Joe Thornton fan growing up. He wore No. 19. I wear No. 19. He was my favourite player. I got to know Torey Krug a little bit through playing with him at the world championships last year. So it would be really cool to play with Torey and put on the Bruins jersey. It’s the team that I’ve watched for my whole life.”

Vesey agent confirmed that his client had a positive meeting with Sabres GM Tim Murray and head coach Dan Bylsma last week.

“I felt the first meeting with the Sabres went quite well and was certainly informative,” Vesey’s agent said. “Jimmy was very comfortable with Tim Murray and coach Bylsma.”

New Islanders co-owner: ‘No constraints’ on GM to spend

The New York Islanders were notoriously frugal through much of the Charles Wang era, save for some truly puzzling decisions like signing Alexei Yashin to a 10-year, $87.5-million contract in 2001 and handing goaltender Rick DiPietro what was then the longest contract in NHL history with a 15-year, $67.5-million deal in 2006.

Things are much different as the franchise says hello new co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin.

The Islanders have been busy this summer. The club signed free agents Andrew Ladd, P.A. Parenteau, and Jason Chimera and currently sit just over $4 million under the salary cap ceiling.

Ledecky met with the media on Wednesday and confirmed that he and Malkin are prepared to make the Islanders a top-tier destination for free agents.

“We should be the world-class destination for free agents,” Ledecky said. “You think about a [salary-cap] world, everybody can spend to the cap, and we certainly have no constraints on our GM and our staff to spend. We want to create and continue to progress towards John Tavares lifting that Stanley Cup, so we should be world-class in everything we do.”

Fire up the long-term extension talk for Tavares.

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