Buffalo Sabres Fans Losing Sleep Over Vesey Trade

Nov 5, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Fans enter the First Niagara Center before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; Fans enter the First Niagara Center before a game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buffalo Sabres acquired the rights to Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey from the Nashville Predators, giving up a third round pick, and fans are losing their minds.

You’re either on board with what Buffalo Sabres General Manager Tim Murray is doing or you’re not.  Many fans question his ability, despite doing great things to rebuild this team; the Robin Lehner trade will hang over his head, and now possibly the Jimmy Vesey trade.

Related Story: Sabres Acquire Rights To Jimmy Vesey

Vesey was not going to sign in Nashville.  He has his reasons.  The Nashville Predators are a hot team in the NHL right now, and despite losing in the second round to the San Jose Sharks, are going to be a competitive team for several years.

Fans on social media are clamoring for Murray to use his picks wiser, especially with the report that Vesey’s agent says his client will still test free agency when August 15th comes around – with no guarantee that he will sign here, seems like a wasted trade.

First off, you haven’t proven anything, and the fact that you get free agency without ever playing an NHL game in your life just boggles my mind.  Sure guys want to be able to test the market sooner and make more money, but if you can’t even sign a rookie deal with the team that drafts you, that doesn’t give you the right to pick and choose what team you get to play for.

Secondly, you’re not getting any more money by holding out and hitting the market, your still only going to get an ELC which is maxed out at a certain level (without bonuses). But that is just my two cents.

But in all honesty – even if Tim Murray played a gamble here and loses, watching Vesey test the market and end up in some other jersey come the fall, what has he really lost? A third round draft pick?  We aren’t exactly talking about world-beaters here.

Buffalo Sabres and the Third Round

Is anyone really paying attention to the draft by the time the third round comes on Saturday?  Sure the draft will be in Buffalo, but what is the weather supposed to be like?  For those of you playing the game at home, its going to be 90 degrees out with zero percent chance of rain.  More people will be rubbing aloe vera on their severely burnt bodies that will be able to tell you who the Buffalo Sabres drafted in rounds three and beyond.

Buffalo had four draft picks in the third round.  Even after the trade they still have their own pick at 69th; then they pick again at 86 thanks to the Dallas Stars, and 89th courtesy of the St. Louis Blues.  So it isn’t like Tim Murray is wasting a shot at a player.

Then you have to look at the history of the third round players that actually make it into the National Hockey League.  In their history, the Sabre have selected in the third round 48 times.  Only 19 of those guys have actually stepped foot on an NHL ice surface for a game that counted.

Of those 19 players, the average number of games they played in their careers?  336.  Thats the equivalent of about 4 NHL seasons.

Sure we have some big names that have come through the ranks of the Blue and Gold thanks to the third round.  Some of you may be too young to remember these names, but they are all worthy of being called NHL players.  Bill Hajt (1971), Gary McAdam (1975), Ray Shepherd (1984), Bob Corkum (86), Maxim Afinogenov (1997), Clarke MacArthur (2003), Andrej Sekera (2004), Corey Tropp (2007), and Brayden McNabb (2009).

That is just about half the players selected in the third round that played more than a season in the NHL.

I wouldn’t worry too much about throwing away a third round draft pick by trying to sign Jimmy Vesey.  At the end of the day, even if you don’t sign him – you have only lost a player that is going to fill a role, and there are plenty of those guys around the NHL.  Insert player name here, and you’re still having a good day.

Next: That Left Handed Defenseman Could Come From Anaheim

GMTM is going to be a busy man this draft weekend.  Don’t expect a lot of words from him at the podium, but expect him to make some more big waves in making his hockey team one of hottest teams on ice.  When the weekend is over, you might just as well be saying Jimmy who?