Rangers and Jimmy Vesey Agree to a New Two-Year Deal; Win-Win All-Around, Stress for Non-NHL Millionaires; Mental Health, Wednesday’s “TURK TALK;” Gallant Reveals Chytil Playing Through Illness, NYR vs Montreal & More

On Wednesday, January 4th, Susan “Oh, Oh, Oh” Sarandon’s favorite player, Jimmy Vesey, received a two-year contract extension worth $800,000 per season/$1.6M overall. While perhaps the two-time Ranger could’ve received a better offer this summer on the open market; for #26, the peace of mind came above all else.

Greetings and salutations everyone and welcome to another blog here on BlueCollarBlueShirts.com. A short blog tonight, as the Rangers travel to Montreal for their Original Six tilt this Thursday night.

Prior to the team’s flight to the Land of Poutine; on Wednesday, the Rangers not only held a well-attended optional practice at their facility in Tarrytown, NY; but before the laces were tied and the pucks were dropped – the Rangers announced that they had come to terms on a new two-year contract extension with Jimmy Vesey.

I’ve written so much about the Harvard grad ever since his return to New York, where I also previously included his sample chapter from my new four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade,” on this site.

To read everything Vesey, and an explanation of his “relationship” with Susan Sarandon too, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/8822/

Call me a sap, call me what you want; but I’ve enjoyed this Jimmy Vesey REDEMPTION/REINVENTION story. I’ve brought this following point up a lot on this site, but in a way, the New England native reminds me a lot of Bobby Carpenter – only to mean that Vesey entered the league with high-hopes, it didn’t pan out the way that he wanted, and once with his back against the wall – the player who thought he’d be an offensive machine successfully pulled off a 180 – and is now known for his strong defensive skills. Photo Credit: NYR

The following press release was issued by the Rangers at 9:30AM Wednesday morning, and you can also read it from its original source here: https://www.nhl.com/rangers/news/rangers-agree-to-terms-with-jimmy-vesey-on-two-year-extension/c-339525566?icmp=int_web_nyr_news_rightrail

New York Rangers President and General Manager Chris Drury announced today that the team has agreed to terms with forward Jimmy Vesey on a two-year contract extension through the 2024-25 season.

Vesey, 29, has recorded six goals and six assists for 12 points and a plus-4 rating in 38 games with the Blueshirts this season. Among forwards, Vesey ranks fourth in shorthanded time on ice with a 56:08 mark and is one of three Rangers with a shorthanded goal this season. Among Rangers forwards to skate over 50 minutes shorthanded, Vesey ranks second in fewest power play goals against per-60 (5.34).

In 460 career games between the Rangers (2016-17 – 2018-19, 2022-23), Buffalo Sabres (2019-20), Toronto Maple Leafs (2020-21), Vancouver Canucks (2020-21) and New Jersey Devils (2021-22), Vesey has notched 78 goals and 69 assists for 147 points.

In 2018-19 with New York, the Boston, Massachusetts native notched career-highs in points (35), assists (18), games played (81) and tied his career-high in goals (17). That season, he also recorded a career-high 154 shots on goal.

Vesey was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round, 66th overall, of the 2012 NHL Draft. He signed with the Blueshirts out of training camp as a free agent on October 9, 2022.

As I was looking for a bad photoshop picture of Jimmy Vesey to insert here, I realized that I’ve made a ton of them this season – which tells me how well he’s played.

Unless you have a raging hard-on for Vesey, and for whatever reason, just can’t stand the guy; then this much is true – this is a win-win deal all-around.

While perhaps Vesey could’ve waited for a better offer (and we’ll get into what he said in just a minute); for the Rangers, they couldn’t have signed a better team-friendly deal as they did today with #26.

Vesey, who is now on the books for only $800,000 for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons, comes at a heck of a bargain.

If Vesey maintains his current playing level for the next two seasons, then the Rangers will have easily won this deal for this insurance/depth/role player.

And should Vesey’s skills completely nose-dive and fall off of a cliff; then he can be assigned to Hartford, or waived outright, and with no consequences at all.

Furthermore, with the salary cap only going to increase over time, where it’s expected in Year Two of this deal that the cap will receive a significant bump; Vesey’s cap-hit, currently at a minuscule 0.9%, and despite the new $50,000 raise in pay – Vesey’s cap percentage won’t impact Chris Drury’s roster construction at all.

But of course, there will always be a section of the fan base that will complain about everything – where what I said last night also applies here:


I have to admit – I got a huge laugh from these fans who are always wrong about everything. You know, the same people who said last season, “CHRIS DRURY AND GERARD GALLANT DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING,” where if you recall, while these morons were saying that – and from July 2021 on – I predicted the Rangers to reach the 2022 Eastern Conference Final. (Blogs and tweets don’t lie – it’s all there for ya!)

I’m going on record – Chris Drury won big here. For a player that may only take up 0.5% of the Rangers’ salary cap for the next two seasons – how can this not be considered a win?

And for the uneducated fans worrying about every teenager known to man – these young players have different skill sets than Vesey.

While Vesey has had success whenever playing in Gallant’s top-six (something the head coach even brought up today); I believe that come the playoffs, and moving forward, his role will be as a reliable fourth-line grinder/penalty killer – jobs that he’s currently flourishing at today.

One point that I didn’t see anyone else make today, especially whenever I read the Tyler Motte comparisons (even Vesey has made these comparisons himself) – VESEY WANTS TO BE HERE.

I know I’ve brought this up many times before, and even when it happened; but when you watched Motte’s season exit interview – he never sounded like he wanted to return.

Kind of like my feelings on Vitali Kravtsov, who quit and ran from this team twice; conversely, here’s Jimmy Vesey, who again, could’ve played the market for a better deal – putting his money where his mouth is – and letting everyone know that he wants to be a New York Ranger.

How can you root against that?

Following the Rangers’ optional skate from Wednesday, the $800,000 man spoke to the media:

If there are any major takeaways from what Vesey said on Wednesday, then it’s the following:

— Vesey put his mental health above everything else.

— As he has said in the past, he once again reiterated that the last few summers have been stressful for him, where at times, he wondered if he’d have to continue his career outside of North America, whether it be in Europe or in Russia.

— Vesey said he loves New York and is happy that this return has been working out.

— While not saying it verbatim; you can tell that Vesey never wanted to leave the first time.

— Vesey felt that he was was rewarded and was ecstatic that he can enjoy his Summer of 2023 stress-free.

I felt like a lot of what Vesey said was both a cold and stark reminder of how cruel the hard salary cap can be for fourth liners, third-pair defenseman and other fringe NHLers.

While obviously, most NHLers don’t financially earn what they are truly worth, nor are paid like their counterparts in the NBA, NFL and MLB either; for the top guys around the league – they are the only ones who can set themselves up for life, via their eight-figure deals. Everyone else – it’s a battle – a gray-hair inducing one at that.

And while $1.6M over two years isn’t anything to sneeze at (and you don’t have to shed too many tears for Vesey either – as this contract will push him over $10,000,000 in career earnings); for many players around the league, who sacrifice life skills/career jobs for the sport they love – once the hockey ends – what’s next?

While there are a few bozos lucky enough to work themselves into television jobs (Sieve Vagistat is the biggest example of this); those jobs are far and in-between, where more times than not – those jobs are usually reserved for Hall of Fame types.

As I wrap-up this subject, I’m happy that it all worked out for Vesey and the Rangers.

While he’s made his millions, do you know what’s both funny and sad?

When you consider his new $800,000 annual salary and when you factor in taxes & the cost of living in NYC – he couldn’t even afford season tickets at M$G.

What a telling statement.

Let’s switch gears and cover the rest of the news from Rangerstown, USA.

It feels like ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Filip Chytil have a stronger bond than Susan Sarandon and Jimmy Vesey! Photo Credit: ESPN

Following the optional practice, and prior to the team’s flight to French-Canada (I’ve been to Montreal nine times to see the Rangers play and ever since my first trip there – I’m jealous whenever I don’t go – as it’s one of the best cities and arenas in the league to visit); Gallant held his daily “TURK TALK.”

As opposed to the last two times when Gallant spoke to the media following a practice; this time, the head coach was more jovial.

After all, how couldn’t he be?

Prior to Wednesday, the last two times he spoke after practice was following two crushing losses. (And then there was that whole LAFRENIEREGATE “non-story” too!)

Here’s the latest edition of TURK TALK:

While not as newsworthy as recent “TURK TALKS;” Gallant did shed some light on a few subjects.

Here are the highlights:

— As mentioned last night, and as you probably are aware of – Gallant benched Filip Chytil for most of the third period. What nobody knew at the time (and this is why I always say “IN TURK WE TRUST,” where this really applies to any NHL head coach, as they know their players better than any of us), was that Chytil had been suffering through some sort of ailment (common cold and/or flu – not an injury, concussion and/or COVID) while the team was in Florida over the New Year.

— Gallant also brought up how Chytil’s line were on the ice for the two quick goals allowed following Ranger scores, where Chytil and his putrid face-off percentage of 28.6% didn’t help matters.

— Gallant, without saying these words verbatim, pretty much said that he trusted more in Goodrow – especially at the dots, as #21 wound up finishing the game by winning 80% of his draws.

— Gallant, for those worrying their fragile little minds over this, then said Chytil’s standing with him hasn’t changed one iota, and that #72 will be centering the third line on Thursday.

— The head coach, and as he’s been doing a lot of lately, showered heavy praise upon Kaapo Kakko. Well that was pretty easy to do if I say so myself!

— When it comes to Lafreniere (and wouldn’t it be the ULTIMATE TROLL move if Gallant scratched #13 in front of his parents and home crowd on Thursday – but don’t worry – that’s not happening – much like those made-up FAKE NEWS TRADE RUMORS surrounding the first-overall pick), Gallant brought up his days of coaching the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) from a dozen or so years ago.

— Of note: in his three years with the Dogs, Gallant won two championships and coached players such as Jonathan Huberdeau, Mike Hoffman, Tomas Jurco, and a slew of others that have had successful NHL careers and/or were first or second-round NHL draft picks.

— When speaking of the younger players on the Rangers of today in comparison to his days coaching at the QMJHL level; Gallant said he thought Kakko’s play could be contagious for the other “youts,” including Lafreniere and Kravtsov. Gallant said he’s seen this before, where one young player gets hot and it helps everyone else get going.

— Gallant, and perhaps contrary to popular opinion, spoke highly of the struggling Lafreniere and brought up how it takes time. (However, as opposed to previous “TURK TALKS,” Gallant didn’t bring up #13’s unorthodox NHL beginnings.)

— On the lowly and rebuilding Canadiens, Gallant said they would be a tough out and of course, hit his go-to phrase of, “they work hard and they play hard.” As you’d expect – it serves Gallant no purpose to besmirch an opponent and/or give them bulletin-board material.

— Gallant said that despite the Habs’ recent horror show on the road, where they surrendered 26 goals in their last four games played; he expects them to show up at home. While he might be right – that’s no excuse – his team has to handle business on Thursday – and he knows that.

— Gallant also praised Jimmy Vesey and said that he was happy for him.

— And here’s a point I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else – Vesey has grown on “The Turk.” While I can’t confirm this, I’m sure that Drury had a conversation with his head coach prior to extending the player. By giving Vesey a new deal, I think this is not only a vote of confidence from the general manager – but from the head coach too.

The Bell Centre, aka “Lundqvist’s House of Horrors,” has given the Rangers trouble over the years. However, the Blueshirts have won their last three games in the grandest city of the league, Montreal.

See ya tomorrow night, as the Rangers take on “OLD FRIEND” Martin St. Louis and the Montreal Canadiens.

And I’ll say it here before going home – come 9:45PM EST or so Thursday night – I expect a three-game Blueshirts’ winning streak!


The hardcover version of my first book, available now at Amazon.com

My first plug of tonight’s blog – the mandatory plug for my book, “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden.”

As mentioned previously, the book is now available in hardcover, in paperback and in Kindle formats. To purchase a copy of the book, visit this link:


For those still looking for signed paperback versions of the book, I have re-ordered more copies. I now have a few signed copies for sale at $25 a pop (includes shipping price) through me directly. Here is all the information on that:

Order “The New York Rangers Rink of Honor and the Rafters of Madison Square Garden” Book Today

My four-volume set of books, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is a game-by-game recount of the Rangers 2021-22 campaign.

My second title as an author, “One Game at a Time – A Season to Remember,” is now available in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats.

To obtain signed copies, visit: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/onegamebook/

To purchase all four volumes on Amazon, visit: Amazon.com – “One Game at a Time.”

The greatest volume-set of books on Rangers’ history today!

“Tricks of the Trade – A Century-Long Journey Through Every Trade Made In New York Rangers’ History,” a four-volume set of books that meticulously covers every trade made in franchise history, is now on sale.

All four volumes of the title can be purchased on Amazon.com and are presented in three different formats – eBook, paperback and hardcover.

To purchase Volume I: Conn Smythe (1926) – Craig Patrick (1986), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume II: Phil Esposito (1986) – Neil Smith (2000), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume III: Glen Sather (2000-2015), visit Amazon.com

To purchase Volume IV: Jeff Gorton (2015) – Chris Drury (2022), visit Amazon.com

To purchase signed copies of all four volumes, visit https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Here are my last few blogs, in case you missed them:

NYR/CAR 1/3 Review: Rangers Flush First-Place Carolina in Thriller; Wild-And-Crazy Game at “The World’s Most Expensive Arena,” Gallant’s In-Game Moves Work Again; Chytil Benched (Then Scores!), Defensemen, Mika & Artie, Special Teams Shine, 60 Minutes of Effort & More

NYR/FLA 1/1 Review: DJ Veterinarian Zibanejad and Company Neuter Panthers; Panarin Gets Off Schneid Too; Halak, No Time For One-Offs, Schneider Continues to Stun, Kakko & “Kid Watch,” Fox Enters NHL Record Books (Again), “Fat Cats” > Florida Cats, M$GN & More

Rangers Ring in the New Year with a Gallant & Lafreniere Reunion; Rumor-Mongering Proves False (Again), 2022, Mika/Panarin, Shesterkin Wins Another Race, NYR Look to Neuter Cats on Their Ninth Life, Thoughts From Around the NHL, Head Coaches & More

If you haven’t already, subscribe to this blog for the next update:

Now on sale!

Don’t forget to order my new four-volume set of books, “Tricks of the Trade!”

If you don’t order through me, all four volumes are now available on Amazon.com

For more details, check out: https://bluecollarblueshirts.com/tricksofthetrade/

Thanks for reading.


Sean McCaffrey


@NYCTHEMIC on the Tweeter machine

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