Report: Sabres sent cavalry to meet with Vesey in Boston

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There was a big meeting between Buffalo and reigning Hobey Baker winner Jimmy Vesey today, per the Providence Journal, and the Sabres sent a pretty healthy contingent along.

The report claims GM Tim Murray, head coach Dan Bylsma and assistant Jerry Forton all spent “two-plus hours” in Boston meeting with Vesey, who the Sabres acquired in June from Nashville.

Murray has been outspoken in his desire to land Vesey, who can become an unrestricted free agent on Aug. 15. It stands to reason he and Bylsma were there to detail what role they see Vesey playing in Buffalo, but the inclusion of Forton is compelling.

Why?

Well, prior to joining Buffalo, Forton had a two-year stint as an assistant at Harvard — including the 2012-13 campaign, which was Vesey’s freshman year for the Crimson.

If Forton and company were able to bend Vesey’s ear, it could mark a significant change in strategy. The 23-year-old has been insistent about testing UFA waters, and balked on signing with the Predators for exactly that reason.

There’s been rumblings the allure of playing with close friend Jack Eichel could also swing Vesey in Buffalo’s direction. But optimism about that notion was dissipated this week when Vesey’s brother Nolan — currently participating in Toronto’s prospects development camp — downplayed the idea of his brother signing anywhere prior to Aug. 15.

“At the end of the day, Jimmy’s going to make his own decision,” Nolan said, per TSN. “Obviously I’ve thought about playing with him before, he’s my brother. It would be cool, but I want what’s best for him and he’s going to choose the team that’s the best fit for him.”

It’s long been rumored that Jimmy has his sights set on signing with Boston, the team he grew up cheering for.

Related: Vesey will get the Sabres’ best pitch, but he still intends to go to free agency