Sabres' Vesey enjoys having Eichel as a teammate

Jimmy Vesey said he's been treated well in Buffalo

Paul Hamilton
September 14, 2019 - 4:04 pm

Photo courtesy of @BuffaloSabres (Sara Schmidle)

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Jimmy Vesey showed up in late August to get his Buffalo Sabres career going early. Vesey was out at Harborcenter with a few of his new teammates skating and he said everything has been to his liking, “It’s been great, I came out a little bit early for camp and got situated and everybody has been great to me, the team, coaches, staff.”

Many have the impression that Vesey stiffed the Sabres when he chose to go to the Rangers instead of signing out of college with Buffalo. That, of course, isn’t true, because he told all teams before Tim Murray traded for him that he was going to go to free agency. With that in mind, many feel Vesey will not be well received in Buffalo, but he said that hasn’t been true, “Going out to eat and meeting some people in restaurants, everyone has been very welcoming, so it’s been good.”

Vesey wasn’t shocked the Rangers traded him because he knew what direction the team was going in. Still, the Rangers pretty much recruited him coming out of Harvard since he was an unrestricted free agent. Vesey chose the Rangers, but didn’t feel betrayed by the trade, “It’s a business, and I had a great three years in New York and in the landscape of the league, guys get moved around. Buffalo traded for me, so that means that they want me.”

Vesey is very good friends with Jack Eichel and Evan Rodrigues. All three train together in Boston. Vesey said he’s been teammates with another Sabre too, “I’m more of a quiet guy, but having a couple of familiar faces, and me and Jake McCabe played [at the] World Juniors together, so I have some familiarity with those three that always makes things a little easier.”

On the first two days of training camp, Vesey has played right wing on Eichel’s line. That has helped the former New York Ranger fit right in, “It’s been great. It’s obviously easy to play with him, his skill level and skating especially really opens the game up and just being able to talk to him in between drills or before the skate just makes it easier on me.”

In three seasons, Vesey has scored 16, 17 and 17 goals. You can’t get more consistent than that, but he expects more, “Yes, I’ve been consistent, but I haven’t exactly been happy with those numbers, I think there’s another level.

“Coming into the league, I always put 20 goals as a benchmark, and I think I should’ve gotten there the last two years, but last year I struggled down the stretch.

In nine games against the Sabres, Vesey has scored five goals and two assists for seven points. He said, “I’ve actually done well against the Sabres in the past and I’m hoping this building brings me more good luck.”

Vesey saw this team up close three times last season, so he knows them a little. He said being here, he sees an improved team, “Last year, they were still young and inexperienced. They showed flashes of how they could be in the first 25 games and personally, I like the moves we made this summer and didn’t give up anything on the current roster and brought in some guys that I think can contribute.”

After two days of practice under Ralph Krueger, I’m seeing a crisp practice that’s done with pace. Krueger knows exactly what he wants, he’s authoritative throughout and he knows when to talk. 

Phil Housley was relentlessly barking at the players for the whole practice when he was the head coach. In my opinion, after a while, his voice just became noise and the message was lost.

Sunday’s practice starts at 10:00 and is the first session that’s been open to the public.

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