As soon as the Toronto Maple Leafs placed Jimmy Vesey on waivers, the Vancouver Canucks jumped jumped at the chance to pick him up. At the same time, Vesey jumped – well drove the four and a half hour (450 km) trip from Toronto to Ottawa – to get a chance to play for his new team. In the end, paperwork kept Vesey from getting into game action on Wednesday, but it wasn’t Vesey’s lack of speed “gearing-up” his car to become part of the Canucks’ lineup.
Two Reasons Why Vesey Sped to Ottawa
There were two reasons for Vesey’s speed in meeting his new teammates for the first time – except for J.T. Miller who he knows well from playing on previous teams together. Reason one is that, according to NHL rules about any player movements in the time of COVID-19, Vesey was able to escape the mandated quarantine if he drove the four-hour and thirty-minute trip from Toronto by himself.
And he had to get there before the Canucks flew off to Montreal for their next game against the Canadiens. COVID-19’s clock was ticking. (from “Canucks’ newest addition Jimmy Vesey faces race against COVID-19 clock,” Patrick Johnston, The Province, 17/03/21).
A second reason Vesey might have sped to join the Canucks is that he’s hungry for more time on the ice. He had been playing regularly with the Maple Leafs, but only fourth-line minutes. And, he hopes for more.
Vesey Promised More Prominent Role with the Canucks
In fact, in an interview today Vesey spoke about his excitement to join the Canucks. He noted that he had spoken to the coaching staff and they had all but promised – maybe that’s too strong, but you could see that’s what he wanted – that he would have a more prominent role with the Canucks than he had with Maple Leafs.
As you can hear in the short video below, Vesey is excited for his new adventure to begin.
What Did Vesey Had to Say About His Move to the Canucks?
First, Vesey noted that it “looks like I might have a more prominent role on the team than what I had with Toronto; so, you gotta love that opportunity and that chance to succeed.”
Vesey also noted that he believed “this team has a lot of good pieces in place; and, hopefully I can add to the mix.”
His bottom line is that he wants to help his new team “just win hockey games.”
What’s the Assessment of the Canucks Pick Up in Vesey?
Thomas Drance, a senior writer with The Athletic, tweeted Vesey’s move to a new team. He called Vesey was a “competent, NHL-level middle-six forward.” He also noted that the Canucks needed players such as Vesey, especially at the bargain contract Vesey carries with him.
Drance believed that Vesey was a “Nice get, actually, and perhaps a sign of some modest, enhanced flexibility?”
Will Vesey Play on Friday Night?
Now that Vesey has made the trip to Ottawa, and then on to Montreal with his new team, he’ll be able to play in the Canucks’ two-game mini-series against the Canadiens on Friday and Saturday.
Who knows how this move will pan out, but the Canucks hope they have added a winger who can play regular minutes on their second or third line. One thing seems certain: he’s likely to get some time to prove his value to his new team in Vancouver.
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