The Nashville Predators should have approached the Feb. 29 trade deadline knowing Harvard's Jimmy Vesey would not be signing with the team, according to a source close to the family.
On Monday, Predators general manager David Poile said the organization had already received confirmation from Vesey that he would sign after his collegiate season concluded at Harvard. Poile told reporters that he was "shocked" to learn of Vesey's decision to become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15 rather than signing with Nashville, the team that selected the forward No. 66th overall in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
According to Poile, the Predators did not make a move at the trade deadline because assistant GM Paul Fenton was told by Vesey last month that he planned to join the team. However, a source said the Predators were told of Vesey's decision a few days before the deadline in order for the team to conduct business unrelated to him.
If there was any miscommunication between the sides, it was cleared up prior to the deadline, according to the source.
Vesey's camp has been quiet to this point, but his representatives are planning to release a statement around noon Wednesday.
"I clearly believe that Jimmy's received bad advice and bad counsel," Poile said Monday. "A player usually goes to free agency in order to increase his leverage and benefit financially, and that will not be the case here because whoever he signs with, he's going to get less of a deal on Aug. 15 than he could get from the Predators today. And he's going to sign for an extra year at the same money."
The league source indicated Vesey's representatives were surprised by Poile's comments.
Even though Poile said he would attempt to change Vesey's mind, the prospect will be ready to entertain offers on Aug. 15, according to the source.
There's been speculation that Vesey, 22, a native of North Reading, Massachusetts, could sign with either the Toronto Maple Leafs, where his father works as an amateur scout, or with the Boston Bruins, where GM Don Sweeney is a Harvard alum. The pool of suitors will be larger than two teams, however.