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Jets, Wheeler agree to deal

And then there was one.

The Winnipeg Jets say they have agreed to terms with right-wing Blake Wheeler on a new deal, avoiding an arbitration date with the restricted free agent set for next month.

In this file photo, Atlanta Thrashers right-wing Blake Wheeler (26) celebrates after scoring in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Atlanta, Feb. 25, 2011 in Atlanta. On Monday, The Jets announced they reached a contract deal with Wheeler.

JOHN BAZEMORE / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this file photo, Atlanta Thrashers right-wing Blake Wheeler (26) celebrates after scoring in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers in Atlanta, Feb. 25, 2011 in Atlanta. On Monday, The Jets announced they reached a contract deal with Wheeler.

His signing — coupled with the addition of six other players who agreed to terms last Friday — leaves only Zach Bogosian as the team’s remaining restricted free agent.

Wheeler will be made available to the Winnipeg media Tuesday morning, but did say via his Twitter account: ‘Excited to sign with the Jets today. Can’t wait for that home opener against the Habs!’

His agent Matt Keator told The Free Press the two-year deal is worth $2.45 million this season and $2.65 million next year.

"It’s about finding the right place that is going to give him enough ice time and opportunity," said Keator. "He’s excited. He’s excited about the energy level and being back in a hockey market."

Wheeler scored 18 goals and added 26 assists in 81 NHL games last season split between the Boston Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers. He was acquired from the Bruins in late February along with defenceman Mark Stuar for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik.

A 6-5, 210-pound product of Robbinsdale, Minn., Wheeler has appeared in 244 games and has 57 career goals. His best campaign came as a rookie fresh from the University of Minnesota in 2009-09 when he scored 21 goals and added 24 assists.

Earlier on Monday, the Jets made official the addition of six other restricted free agents: Ben Maxwell, Arturs Kulda, Brett Festerling, Spencer Machacek, Riley Holzapfel and Kenndal McArdle. The club has also brought back a familiar face in Manitoba Moose forward Jason Jaffray.

Ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: WFPEdTait

 

#26 - Blake Wheeler

Position: Right WingShoots: Right

Born: August 31, 1986Place: Robbinsdale, MN

Height: 6'5"Weight: 210

Acquired: Trade with Boston on Feb. 18, 2011

Draft status: Phoenix's 1st round pick, 5th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft

 

--- Regular Season --- ---- Playoffs ----

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2004-05 Green Bay Gamblers USHL 58 19 28 47 43 -- -- -- -- --

2005-06 U. of Minnesota WCHA 39 9 14 23 41

2006-07 U. of Minnesota WCHA 44 18 20 38 42

2007-08 U. of Minnesota WCHA 44 15 20 35 72

2008-09 Boston Bruins NHL 81 21 24 45 46 8 0 0 0 0

2009-10 Boston Bruins NHL 82 18 20 38 53 13 1 5 6 6

2010-11 Boston Bruins NHL 58 11 16 27 32 -- -- -- -- --

2010-11 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 23 7 10 17 14 -- -- -- -- --

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NHL Totals 244 57 70 127 145 21 1 5 6 6

History

Updated on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 6:07 PM CDT: Adds quotes.

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