When a player gets to choose where he plays, there are plenty of things that can factor into such a decision.
Don’t underestimate the lure of playing with friends.
These were relevant factors in instances such as Lebron James taking his talents to South Beach and when Zach Parise and Ryan Suter joining the Wild. If the Buffalo Sabres have their way, it will happen when Jack Eichel helps them bring in coveted forward Jimmy Vesey.
NHL.com provides a deeper look at the friendship between the two talented young scorers.
“I think that there’d be a sense of comfort walking into a locker room with Jack there,” Vesey said.
Sabres GM Tim Murray made a humorous comment about using Eichel as a “recruiting tool,” even if the second pick of the 2015 NHL Draft seemed a little reluctant to carry such a title.
The Sabres sent quite a fleet to try to draw Vesey in, and his agent seemed optimistic about that back-and-forth.
Still, hearing positive feedback from potential teammates might make a bigger deal that suits trying to butter Vesey up. In that regard, consider what Kyle Okposo had to say to Vesey after choosing Buffalo himself.
“I would tell him we’re going to be a good team for a long time,” Okposo said, according to Olean Times Herald. “It’s going to be a fun organization to play in. We have the Pegulas at the helm. … We’re going to be contenders, and that’s something that isn’t always there on teams. I know that personally. We went through a really tough stretch (with the New York Islanders).”
The Sabres aren’t leaving any stone un-turned in their pursuit, and with money likely being equal with Vesey getting his first NHL contract, a friendly locker room could very well make the difference.