Jimmy Vesey, Where to begin with you…
By Jeremy Sargent @Preducated
First, let me say that I know none of this below is going to change anything. He made his decision and we should move on, but some things need to be addressed and I’ve had my scope out since I saw the news.
Jeremy grabs soap box...you grab popcorn…..
Jimmy Vesey, Where to begin with you…
You were one helluva good college hockey player. The Predators saw your talents four years ago and decided to take you in the third round. You played some international competition. You got out from behind the shadow of Jack Eichel to lead your Harvard Crimson into the NCAA postseason and fact of the matter is, you got skills.
A big frame and a power forward mentality that the Predators were hoping to get with the 7th overall pick Colin Wilson, you would have melded to a contending playoff team that has been red hot since the middle of February. The first line spot, currently being held down by Calle Jarnkrok, was yours for the taking, as was burning a year from your ELC so you could get the big payday quicker if money was your primary concern….but it wasn’t.
Integrity- A simple word that means so much to loyal and devoted fan bases. Integrity is the forthcoming honesty and uprightness to follow through on a consistent basis to principles. These principles should have been the time and effort put into your training and development over the last four years and the many man hours and resources devoted from the Nashville Predators from the GM down to Scottt Nichol who took extra care in coaching up your abilities to become a Hobey Baker finalist from last year (and probably this season also) and a highly rated prospect for the Predators organization. Simply put, the ability to determine right from wrong.
Ethics- Simply put, the ability to tell right from wrong. It was your decision to make. The CBA has the loophole that you could easily jump through so you could test free agency. There would be no monetary reason to do this as the contract would be the same amount no matter where you go. You had the option to sign with the Predators and burn a year from this opening contract so you could go wherever you wanted in two years time. But, instead, you decided to not even meet with the organization that put their faith in your word all through your collegiate career up until last Wednesday and simply release the statement of intent to test free agency. Not even a face to face meeting? Sorry, but that is weak sauce no matter how you address it. At some point, and especially as a Harvard Grad, should know these differences of right and wrong conduct and not hide behind a press release. You owed at least that much to this organization.
Sportmanship- The proper consideration of fair play, respect and polite behavior when conducting oneself in a sports setting. I realize that hockey is a business, but it is played by people that most times show respect for the game and those involved. There is a trust, a camaraderie, that is built within a team be it high school, college or pro. There is an understanding that each member of that team will stick up for each other and work toward goals together. The goal of the Nashville Predators was to draft and develop players to fit into the ranks at the NHL level. This alludes to Vesey being part of a larger team, a team that has worked diligently alongside his blossoming college career with personal tutelage and the hopes that Vesey would be a part of their future in a top 6 role. The key to this whole issue is respect and fair play, neither of which were used by Vesey when he decided at the last minute to inform the Predators of his free agency decision this summer.
I used these three headings as these are the sportsmanship core standards of Harvard …something Jimmy Vesey and the four years he spent there should be well versed.
Since he is right around the corner from receiving his hard fought degree from one of the highest standards of higher education in the country…I feel as if I should give a commencement speech for Jimmy Vesey.
A word to the wise…don’t think this decision won’t follow you throughout your career. Wherever you go, every team will know that you gave up on your original commitment to follow through and sign with the Predators after numerous conversations and assurances that your name was going to be put on the dotted line after the NCAA playoffs ended for Harvard (sooner than you thought…snicker).
Nashville fans will never forget this. When your name is in the same breath as Alexander Radulov and Ryan Suter, it says boatloads about your character or lack thereof in this situation. You had an opportunity to do great things and you still may do great things elsewhere. I would never, ever wish you ill but I hope you remember this decision if, by chance, you go to a team with a floundering defense that has traded away most of their top prospects in recent years or another team that has been mired in mediocrity for decades. You could have easily and smartly (from your agent’s point of view) signed with Nashville and been involved in something special…or at least honored the team and played out the ELC and gone to wherever you wanted (at least with Suter and Radulov, we got some playing time from them before they bolted).
And before people start bringing out the “he’s just a kid” argument…he is a 22 year old adult. I was making proper decisions at that age without a Harvard education and without an inkling of the resources Vesey has at his disposal.
So…in the end….fare thee well. I hope karma has the Predators penciled into the Stanley Cup Finals this year and Vesey will have to live with the woulda-coulda of testing free agency.