There’s a rumor out there on the internet where the New York Islanders are a wildcard to land coveted rookie free-agent Jimmy Vesey. But then again it’s the internet, so does it hold some truth?
Let’s get one thing abundantly clear, the internet is the realm of the impossible and outlandish. Where anything can be said, and thus anything can be believable. But is a rumor that the New York Islanders are a possible player in the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes believable?
Sure. But again, it’s the internet. If we believed everything we read on the internet we’d think that Donald Trump was a shape-shifting lizard, that mole people were real, and the moon landing was a government conspiracy.
But in assessing this Vesey rumor, rather than just dismiss outright, what are the particulars around this situation that would make or break it? What could the New York Islanders offer Vesey that other couldn’t, and what would scare Vesey away from the Islanders?
Pros and Cons and Money
The first big ‘pro’ is that the Islanders have a track record of letting youth flourish. They let their talented youth learn on the job. Players such as Ryan Strome, Kyle Okposo, and Brock Nelson. All first round picks, neither with more than a single season of AHL playing time.
If you have the talent the Islanders will give you a chance to succeed. By all accounts, Vesey has the talent.
But this first point comes with its own complication. Where do the Islanders put Vesey in the lineup? Adding Vesey means dropping someone like Bailey, Chimera, or Prine from the lineup. The likely casualty here is Prince, a third-line player.
Does Vesey want to join the Islanders to play third-line minutes? This doesn’t mean he deserves to be placed on a second-line, but the kid is holding out and weighing his options for the best possible scenario, and it’s doubtful that third-line minutes is one of them.
What about money? With a cap ceiling that barely moved in the offseason, there are a number of teams out there that couldn’t take on his contract.
At the moment the Islanders have the money to sign him, what with just over $3.6 million in cap space. Vesey is likely going to command the full $925,000 entry-level contract allowable under the CBA from whatever team he goes to.
The Islanders could still sign Strome to a short-term bridge contract worth $2.5 million per year and have the room to land Vesey, and even RFA Christopher Gibson. But with current money comes the thought of future money.
Could, or would the Islanders pay-up in the future?
Keep in mind that this is a franchise that let Kyle Okposo walk in free agency. Is mired in arena drama. And has one of the worst attendances in the league.
Would Vesey want to get on board a bus that is metaphorically unsure of its final destination? In terms of marketing his brand, it wouldn’t make sense to go to the seemingly small market that is Brooklyn.
Ownership can say what it wants in regards to making the Islanders a first class destination for free agents. That’s a long-term goal, but in the now, we just aren’t a desirable market. It’s certainly getting better, but it’s going to take some time.
Vesey will likely stay away for those two factors alone: not the right fit in the lineup and the instability of the franchise will ultimately scare him away. If we were even in the discussion to begin with.
For what it’s worth Vesey likely goes to Boston. It’s practically written in the stars.