Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 07/27/2013 11:48 AM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 07/27/2013 12:12 PM | Updates
WINNIPEG — Blake Wheeler’s new six-year, $33.6-million contract with the Winnipeg Jets is a pretty strong vote by the NHL team for the future of their first-line right-winger.
And the feeling is mutual, Wheeler said this morning.
"For me it was virtually a no-brainer," the 26-year-old native of Robbinsdale, Minn., told reporters during a conference call today, asked if he was at all tempted to try unrestricted free agency next summer. "I sat down with my agent, Matt Keator, this spring. He said, ‘I have no problem being the guy to get you to UFA if that’s where your heart is, if that’s where you are, yada yada yada.’
"I sat there, looked him in the eye and said ‘This is where I want to be. I believe in what people like Mark Chipman, Chevy (GM Kevin Cheveldayoff) and what everyone stands for, and especially my teammates.
"I have believed since I got here, and I’ve told you guys probably a million times, that I believe we have what it takes to take it to the next level. This is just a part of that process.
"I really truly believe that great things are in store for this group."
Wheeler is coming off a season in which he led the Jets with 19 goals and his 41 points were second only to team-leader, captain and linemate Andrew Ladd.
Wheeler’s contract comes out to an average annual value of $5.6 million.
Restricted free agent defenceman Zach Bogosian is scheduled for an arbitration hearing Aug. 2.
Updated on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 12:12 PM CDT: Edited paragraph at end.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Ducks' Robidas won't need surgery on broken leg
Wild's Matt Cooke gets 7-game suspension from NHL
Blues C Backes scratched for Game 4
Ducks without captain Getzlaf, Selanne in Game 4
Sharks confident with chance to sweep LA Kings
Granlund's OT goal another example of his growth
Young Lightning look to future after playoff loss
Coyotes on right financial track with new owners
Rangers aid Lundqvist with bevy of blocked shots
Lightning stars named Calder Trophy finalists
Rangers beat Flyers 4-1 in Game 3, take 2-1 lead
Expanding video review would be correct call for NHL
MacLean apologizes for French ref comments
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead