BUFFALO – Tim Murray sounded like he was venting a bit. For the Sabres general manager, the pursuit of Jimmy Vesey, the NCAA star whose rights he recently acquired, is just one thing on his plate.
“I’ve talked about this literally less than anyone else in Buffalo,” Murray said this afternoon after development camp ended inside HarborCenter. “I hear the guys on the radio and people are mad. This is like top-end news. I think I paid less attention to this than anybody.”
Murray traded one of the Sabres’ four 2016 third-round picks on June 20 for Vesey, who refused to sign his entry-level contract with the Nashville Predators. The Sabres have exclusive rights until Aug. 15. Vesey’s camp has repeatedly said he plans to become a free agent.
The Sabres visited Vesey, the Hobey Baker Award winner last season, last week in Massachusetts. The meeting went well, Murray said. Still, he understands the former Harvard University star probably wants to test the market.
“I told him he doesn’t owe anybody anything,” Murray said. “He went to school for four years and he became a free agent. So now he’s got to make the right decision for him. There’s no timetable. I felt really good about the meeting. I got great feedback about the meeting. But this is his show right now.
“If he wants to come in here, or if he wants to reach out to us and have another meeting, then we’re there. But for me, this is his court. I don’t sit at home and speculate about this. He’s either going to sign here or he’s not.
“If he doesn’t, it’s going to be obviously not the decision we want, and then you guys will call me a dummy for trading away a third-round pick. I got all the scenarios and I’m ready for them all. But it’s up to him.”