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Wheeler rolls out long term deal

Jets forward Blake Wheeler agrees to new six-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

Saturday, 07.27.2013 / 3:23 PM CT / News Articles
By Kristi Hennessy  - Coordinator, Web Content
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Wheeler rolls out long term deal
It was late into the evening on Friday, July 26th, but the announcement was made that the Winnipeg Jets had agreed to terms with forward Blake Wheeler on a new six-year, $33.6 million dollar contract.

It was late into the evening on Friday, July 26th, but the announcement was made that the Winnipeg Jets had agreed to terms with forward Blake Wheeler on a new six-year, $33.6 million dollar contract.

“For me it was virtually a no-brainer,” said Wheeler in a conference call Saturday morning. “I sat down with my agent in April or May and we had the discussion. I looked him in the eyes and said, “This is where I want to be”.

“I believe in people like Mark Chipman and Chevy (GM Kevin Cheveldayoff), what everyone stands for and especially in my teammates. I have believed since I got here that we have what it takes to get to the next level, so this is just a part of that process. I truly believe that great things are in store for this group.”

Wheeler, 26, played in 48 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season. In that time, the right-winger recorded 41 points (19G, 22A) and 28 penalty minutes. He led the Jets in goals and ranked second on the club’s leaderboard in overall points.

The Robbinsdale, MN native has played in 372 career NHL games between Boston, Atlanta and Winnipeg for 232 career points (93G, 139A) and 228 penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 21 post-season games, all with the Bruins for six points (1G, 5A) and six penalty minutes.

On February 18th, 2011, the Bruins traded Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers for Boris Valabik and Rich Peverley. That summer, Wheeler was scheduled to go to arbitration when the Winnipeg Jets opened the door to a new opportunity by signing the restricted free agent to a two-year contract on July 18th, 2011. Back then, he didn’t hesitate to sign on the dotted line and now with his second contract with this franchise, he begins his new opportunity.

Now, having that vote of confidence from the franchise, I’m the kind of person who takes that and runs with it. Having faith put on me gives me life and energy to go out there and hopefully reach new heights.Blake Wheeler

“I felt I had more to give and was given that opportunity in Winnipeg,” said Wheeler. “My struggles at the beginning in Winnipeg was a bit of a reflection of pressing too much and trying too hard and putting too much pressure on myself. Now, having that vote of confidence from the franchise, I’m the kind of person who takes that and runs with it. Having faith put on me gives me life and energy to go out there and hopefully reach new heights.”

Wheeler was placed on the top line with Bryan Little and captain Andrew Ladd from day one with the Jets, a big step up from playing on the third and fourth lines, in Boston.

“That was a huge vote of confidence right off the bat,” said Wheeler. “That added ice-time and that added responsibility was something that I wanted. It gave me a shot of life and something that I definitely needed in my career. I play with two great players and we really compliment each other well, so that’s helped me take my game to the next level.”

Looking forward to next season, Wheeler was asked to share his thoughts on the new off-season additions of Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi.

“I think they are great additions,” Wheeler expressed. “You have two guys who have proved they can provide offense and Frolik just won the Stanley Cup. You can never discount adding a Stanley Cup Champion to your team, it’s an instant boost right away. I’m really excited about what they bring to the table because I think they can really help take our team to the next level.”


Author: Kristi Hennessy / Winnipeg Jets Staff

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 77 48 22 7 225 215 103
2 x - NSH 76 47 21 8 218 183 102
3 STL 75 46 22 7 228 186 99
4 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
5 CHI 74 44 24 6 209 172 94
6 VAN 75 43 27 5 215 203 91
7 WPG 75 39 24 12 212 197 90
8 LAK 75 37 24 14 200 188 88
9 CGY 75 40 28 7 219 199 87
10 DAL 76 37 29 10 236 243 84
11 SJS 75 37 30 8 210 212 82
12 COL 75 35 28 12 205 209 82
13 EDM 75 22 40 13 181 254 57
14 ARI 76 23 45 8 160 252 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Ladd 75 24 35 11 59
B. Wheeler 73 24 34 24 58
B. Little 65 24 27 10 51
M. Scheifele 75 14 32 10 46
D. Byfuglien 66 16 27 7 43
M. Frolik 75 17 23 4 40
D. Stafford 69 16 24 -14 40
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
J. Tlusty 65 14 15 -18 29
T. Myers 65 7 18 -9 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
O. Pavelec 19 14 7 .919 2.35
M. Hutchinson 20 10 5 .913 2.43
 
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