Bruins

Sources: Bruins not a favorite to land free agent Jimmy Vesey

Sources: Bruins not a favorite to land free agent Jimmy Vesey

Nobody knows for sure where Jimmy Vesey is going to play next season, a decision that won't be made -- or at least announced -- until the NHL calendar moves past Aug. 15 and the former Harvard captain hits free agency. But it doesn’t appear to be looking good for the Boston Bruins.

According to two different sources with knowledge of the situation, the B’s aren't currently one of the top three teams Vesey and his camp are leaning toward, despite being one of the organizations he’ll speak with.

Vesey, 23, confirmed in an interview with CSN last month that the Bruins are on his short list and spoke rather convincingly at that time about some of the reasons he might lean toward the Black and Gold.

“I’ve said it all along that Boston is definitely on my list of teams that I’d like to talk to,” said Vesey, who finished with 24 goals and 46 points in 33 games with the Crimson as a senior last season, during that interview with CSN. “It’s a team that I’ve rooted for all my life, and it’s a team that I watched win the Stanley Cup in 2011. I’ll definitely be meeting with Boston in August.

“I was a huge Joe Thornton fan growing up. He wore No. 19. I wear No. 19. He was my favorite player. I got to know Torey Krug a little bit through playing with him at the world championships last year.  So it would be really cool to play with Torey and put on the Bruins jersey. It’s the team that I’ve watched for my whole life.”

According to one of those sources, however, Vesey’s top three preferred spots are currently the Chicago Blackhawks, the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils. 

The Blackhawks have made a big push for the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder in recent weeks, with both GM Stan Bowman and head coach Joel Quenneville traveling to Foxboro to watch the youngster play in the Summer Pro League at the Foxboro Sports Center. It would appear playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane while immediately competing for a Stanley Cup are the big selling points.

The Rangers have a couple of local guys on their roster -- Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes -- whom Vesey is familiar with, and there’s a good working relationship between Vesey’s agents and Rangers GM Jeff Gorton. Similarly, the Vesey family has strong ties with Devils assistant GM Tom Fitzgerald, going back to their Charlestown days, and New Jersey is looked at as a team on the rise in the Eastern Conference with Cory Schneider and Taylor Hall.

Perhaps most surprising of all, though, is that the Bruins, Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs have fallen back in the Vesey pack. All three appeared to be frontrunners for most of the process, given their strong ties to last season’s Hobey Baker winner.

Nothing is really set in stone until Vesey, and his representatives, speak with all the interested teams during the interview process, and all this could change before or shortly after the Vesey-go-free date of Aug. 15. This saga has taken many turns since he first told the Nashville Predators -- the team that drafted him -- that he wouldn't be signing with them.

Still, the Vesey situation is one of the few things keeping the NHL offseason fire burning during a time when most of the hockey world is vacationing prior to the open of training camps. 

Is Bruce Cassidy over the Stanley Cup loss? 'Nope, not really'

Is Bruce Cassidy over the Stanley Cup loss? 'Nope, not really'

The Boston Bruins went on the longest playoff run they possibly could have in 2019. But in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, they fell to the St. Louis Blues by a final score of 4-1. And that loss stung for a Bruins team that was widely expected to win the cup after a series of first-round upsets.

Now 10 weeks removed from the Stanley Cup loss, the Bruins faithful are still reeling from the defeat. That includes head coach Bruce Cassidy who confirmed that he isn't over losing the final.

"Nope, not really," Cassidy recently said, per Matt Porter of The Boston Globe. "Today I am. Tomorrow, depends if someone asks me a question that just happens to hit a nerve."

Cassidy would also go on to say that he might have a bit of difficulty seeing the Blues logo and having to watch them play, per Porter. 

"There might be a time on the road next year and we’re sitting there and I’m watching St. Louis play, because they’re playing Montreal and we play Montreal the next night, and I’ll be like, [expletive], you know? That’s the time you might start going backward."

Still, Cassidy is focusing his energy on preparing the Bruins for their season opener on Oct. 3 against the Dallas Stars. The Bruins are returning much of the same core that helped them win the Eastern Conference (minus Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari) so they are expected to be contenders in the East again.

Of course, they still have to figure out a way to agree to deals with restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo while staying under the salary cap, but once they do that, they should be in good position to make another run.

And safe to say, Cassidy and the Bruins will be looking to prove themselves after a disappointing finish last season.

Report: B's, Cassidy discussing extension>>>

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Don Sweeney opens up about Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo contract talks

Don Sweeney opens up about Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo contract talks

It's been a quiet offseason for the Bruins, but the elephant in the room has been the contract situations of defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

Bruins president Cam Neely said earlier this month negotiations were "still status quo" with the two restricted free agents. It's been radio silence from both sides since then, but on Thursday general manager Don Sweeney provided another update on how things are coming along in a conversation with Michael Tolvo of BostonBruins.com.

“Not as fast as everybody would like,” Sweeney admitted. “But that’s just the nature of the business and every negotiation has its own timeline. We’ll find a finish line at some point and time, Brandon and Charlie will be a part of our organization for a long time. We think really highly of them as players on and off the ice, we just have to find a common ground and we’re working to get there.”

While it's unclear what kinds of deals McAvoy and Carlo will receive, Bruins fans can at least take solace in Sweeney's confidence in the duo donning the Black and Gold for years to come.

As for a move the B's have made this summer, they did manage to lock up one of their RFA's, Danton Heinen. Both Noel Acciari (Florida Panthers) and Marcus Johannson (Buffalo Sabres) left in free agency.

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