Forward Jimmy Vesey has fielded pitches from a number of NHL teams since becoming an unrestricted free agent Tuesday at 12:01 a.m. ET, and now some high-profile fans of the New York Rangers are trying to convince him to come to the Big Apple.
New York media types, athletes and fans are tweeting at Vesey, 23, using the hashtag #JVtoNYR to sway him to sign with the Rangers. Boomer Esiason, a New York radio personality, Rangers fan and former New York Jets quarterback, got the ball rolling by tweeting at Vesey on Monday.
Other high-profile Rangers fans, many of whom regularly attend games at Madison Square Garden, flooded the highly touted forward with pitches about why he should join the Rangers. Darryl McDaniels, a Rangers fan and member of the famed hip-hop group Run-DMC, tweeted a rap to inspire Vesey to come to New York.
Some of New York's other high-profile athletes are trying to lure Vesey to New York: New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, New York Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson and former New York Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck.
Celebrity chef Anne Burrell and "Entourage" actor Jerry Ferrara also made pitches to Vesey, and Burrell even offered the recent Harvard University graduate a specialty dish upon his arrival.
Vesey, a third-round selection (No. 66) of the Nashville Predators at the 2012 NHL Draft, had 80 goals and 144 points in 128 games during his four-season college career. The Predators hoped Vesey, who won the 2016 Hobey Baker Award as the best player in NCAA hockey, would sign with them after completing his senior season in March and offered him a spot among their top six forwards heading into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Nashville traded Vesey's rights to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2016 third-round pick June 20. The Sabres held exclusive negotiating rights with Vesey until Tuesday.
The maximum teams can offer Vesey is a two-year entry-level contract, per the terms of the collective-bargaining agreement. The Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are reportedly scheduled to meet with him Wednesday.
Vesey already reportedly met with the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. The Detroit Red Wings also met with Vesey on Tuesday, but Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin told MLive.com that Vesey's desire was to play for a team closer to his hometown of Boston.
Video: Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes continues