Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that Jimmy Vesey is reportedly going to return to the Rangers.
Vesey will likely sign a one-year deal, around $750,000) and compete for the spot in the bottom-six that Tyler Motte held at the end of last season. (NY Post)
The Rangers traded Vesey to Buffalo on July 1, 2019 for a 2021 third round pick. The cap space created by Vesey’s departure helped the Rangers open up more space to sign Artemi Panarin. The Rangers chose center Jayden Grubbe with that pick.
Since leaving the Rangers, Vesey played the 2019-20 season in Buffalo, split the 2020-21 season between Toronto and Vancouver and played 68 games for the Devils last season.
He had 50 goals and 40 assists in 240 games with the Rangers and 22 goals and 23 assists in 182 games since leaving the Rangers.
Vesey had 8 goals and 7 assists for the Devils last season, a minus-24 rating, 85 hits and an average of 14:25 per game.
Adam Rotter: Well this is a completely different Jimmy Vesey that would be coming back, not just from the player that came with all the hype, but from the player that they traded. His trade to Buffalo came with the hope that pairing with Jack Eichel would finally unlock his talent. Then he went to Toronto and the hope was that putting him in the mix with all those talented forward would bring out his potential and then Vancouver claimed him on waivers, he signed with NJ and never came anywhere close to his potential, let alone the success he had at times with the Rangers. He also didn’t come across that great in the Amazon Prime doc on the Leafs and now he is just a depth player.
He isn’t Tyler Motte, he isn’t that fast, relentless on the forecheck, noticeable on the ice and defensively responsible. If he was any one or two of those things he’d likely already be signed and at a number higher than the Rangers could afford. That is the issue with Motte, they can’t afford him. They want Motte back, but he has played himself into a tier of salary that just doesn’t fit under the salary cap right now.
If Vesey’s altered his game to become more of a two-way player, so he can stay in the league, then he could have a role as a depth player and someone who could, if absolutely needed, swing up in the lineup. It would be a bad situation, for a few different reasons if it happened, but Artemi Panarin has found offense from guys like Colin Blackwell, Jesper Fast and Dryden Hunt at times, so I’d assume he could do the same with someone of Vesey’s skill. Again, Vesey anywhere near the top-six is not the plan, unless he truly has found his game and at 29 is about to turn into the 25 goal scorer he was supposed to be, but in the bottom-six it’s not a huge deal. And if he can’t cut it there, or in training camp, then he’ll go on waivers and someone else will take him or he’ll go to Hartford.