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Insider Only Vesey Fallout; Interest picking up in Hudler; Pens LW Situation

Inside Pittsburgh Sports

Monday’s Penguins Buzz

The Pittsburgh Penguins losing out in the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes was an expected development as the team went into their sales pitch a major longshot to land the coveted free agent.

Vesey went into the meetings last week leaning towards three particular teams, the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks.

He came out of the meetings still leaning towards the Rangers and signed with New York on Friday afternoon. Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is earning praise around the league for a bit of retooling with his forward group in adding Mika Zibanejad, Jimmy Vesey, Michael Grabner, and Nathan Gerbe.

The Rangers have got quicker in their bottom-6 and Zibanejad at 23 years old brings a blend of speed, size and skill that will better suit the Rangers down the middle to matchup against the likes of the Penguins for the present and future.

If Gorton can somehow find a way to add a Kevin Shattenkirk and address the biggest black hole on the roster, New York’s blueline, the Rangers could re-emerge as a Cup Contender.

On the Vesey front, the Penguins never had much of a chance. Sources close to the situation say the Penguins even getting a meeting with Vesey was more about the agents being intrigued about Pittsburgh as an option than Vesey having a genuine interest in playing for the Penguins.

While the Penguins made a professional presentation, that included a phone call from Sidney Crosby and Penguin officials making it clear an opportunity would be there to win a spot on Crosby’s left wing, a prime opportunity for Vesey to do well on a second contract, a source close to the player said Vesey left the meeting feeling Pittsburgh’s interest was more about an opportunity to add another asset for nothing than believing they needed him.

For teams that lost out on Vesey, some attention is now turning towards Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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