On Amazon’s All or Nothing: The Toronto Maple Leafs, which chronicled the Leafs’ 2021 season, part of the second episode was focused on Jimmy Vesey.
Vesey had signed a one-year deal with Toronto and in his first 13 games he averaged 12:50 per game with 10:59 as his lowest ice time.
Over his next 17 games, where the below conversations happened, he averaged 9:47 per game and had 10 games where his ice time was between 4:41 and 9:55.
At the beginning of the Vesey segment, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said of Vesey, “he needs to make the decision ‘am I this high-end prospect that has been screwed at all these different stops with all these different people, or am I going to really uncover what I am?'”
Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe had a conversation with Vesey during a practice at some point soon after 2/24/21 that went:
- Keefe: “I want to see kind of where you are at, like how you are feeling about what you are bringing to the team.”
- Vesey: There’s been games like Montreal, I thought the first period, I was flying.”
- Keefe: “I’m not talking about one game. I’m talking about big picture, where are we at. I’m not saying you’re having a good game here or good game there or a bad game there, I’m just saying, we brought you here with a good opportunity and wanting you to make a difference. I just want to be sure that you know, it’s been very vanilla.”
Keefe then said, an interview straight to camera, “Jimmy was a part that was going the other way, so I needed to have that conversation with him, make it very clear that’s what’s going on and that, uh, we really need him to work and really, you know, latch onto a role.”
Back to his conversation on the ice with Vesey:
- Keefe: “I’m just, what I’m saying is, you need to find something that’s gonna be your thing. Whether it’s the skating, finishing checks and being a competitive asshole and hard to play against.”
- Vesey: “Basically, what I feel like you’re tlling me is that….you don’t know what my game is or you don’t like it and I’m going to be out soon.”
- Keefe: “We need you to be a good player for us. The whole purpose of my conversation is to make you understand that I haven’t seen it yet. I see the positive, I see the potential, but I haven’t seen it fully come together here where it’s like ‘yeah, we need this guy. You want to talk more? You want to think about it? You want to chat again tomorrow, we can….”
- (Vesey skates to his next drill)
Later on in the episode Vesey goes into Kyle Dubas’ office and they have the following conversation:
- Dubas: “So, um, I gotta put you on waivers today at noon.”
- Vesey: “Uh-huh”
- Dubas: “Which is not, uh-, I know it sucks and it’s shitty, but I also think it’s a moment that can be defining for you in how you respond and how you push back and roll right.”
- Vesey: “Do I, uh, like, report to practice tomorrow?
- Dubas: Yea, and then if someone claims you or anything like that, then I’ll just pull ya and, uh, we’ll get everything sorted from there”
- Vesey: “Okay.”
- Dubas: “Okay. Thanks, Jimmy.”
- Vesey: Yeah, thank you.”
Vesey was claimed by the Canucks and Dubas and Leafs President, and former Ranger, Brendan Shanahan had the following conversation:
- Dubas: “Jimmy Vesey’s getting claimed on waivers.”
- Shanny: He is, eh?
- Dubas: Yeah.”
- Shanny: “By who?”
- Dubas: “Vancouver”
- Shanny: “Wow. I’m surprised.”
Dubas then spoke to the camera and said “We wish him all the best and wish it would have worked out a little bit better here.”
In 30 games with the Leafs, Vesey had 5 goals and 2 assists.
Vesey played 20 games for Vancouver after being claimed and had 0 goals, 3 assists, a minus-10 rating and an average of 15:06 per game.”