The Winnipeg Jets are at a crossroads, after failing to even reach the playoffs in a season they were expecting to contend for the Stanley Cup. The team is without a head coach, has uncertainty regarding the next contract for Pierre-Luc Dubois, and is closing in on the end of long-term deals for two of their most prominent offensive pieces.
Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele are both scheduled for unrestricted free agency following the 2023-24 season, and while the latter may not be on the move despite some questionable comments, the team is apparently exploring the market on the former.
Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff explains that the Jets have begun to engage with teams on the possibility of moving Wheeler, and points out that the captain’s full no-trade clause will change on July 1, when he will have to submit a five-team list that he would accept a trade to.
Of course, Wheeler will also turn 36 later this summer and despite strong offensive results, has been criticized heavily in recent years for his overall contributions. The 6’5″ winger had just two goals through his first 30 games of this season, by which point the Jets were already well behind the pace and struggling to stay relevant. He did finish with 17 goals and 60 points total in 65 games but had poor defensive metrics once again, and relied heavily on easy deployment to find so much scoring success.
He also comes with a prohibitive $8.25MM cap hit for the next two seasons (though the actual salary owed is a bit lower than that), limiting the number of teams that could justify bringing him on without the Jets retaining some of the money.
Still, in the right situation, he can still be a strong contributor and perhaps be an option for a team looking to push over the top next season. It would be a drastic culture shift to see the team’s captain and long-standing cornerstone leave–Wheeler has been with the franchise since it still played in Atlanta–but there are winds of change blowing in Winnipeg after such a disappointing year.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
See ya bad mood Blake, you’ve worn out your welcome here……..no longer an asset with your attitude and boat anchor contract
Don’t know if he has a bad attitude, but if he does he fits right in with you and the rest of the miserable lot in Winnipeg. You guys always seem angry? The long winters wear you out?
That’s right you don’t know……much about anything peanut gallery
Not so great fans anymore. They need a few losing seasons like ATL endured and what BUF is dealing with. then maybe they’d appreciate what they have
Losing is for losers, jets fans hold the bar higher and call out BS from players AND management…….
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Kenobiwan69 is right, that’s why Winnipeg has won the Stanley Cup so many times!! I mean they have the word “win” in their name!
Coyotes will surely be calling. If they can get a decent contributor and draft capital for eating that salary for the next couple of years that’s a win-win for them.
He will like the dessert!
Ice cream? Cake? Cookies?
They probably won’t.Wheeler was drafted by Coyotes in 2004(5th OA) but refused to sign.Coyotes received compensatory 2nd round pick instead.To thgis day Wheeler and Turris are two names not to be mentioned in Arizona
36 y/o with $8.25 mil.for 2 years…that’s a negative value.Sound’s like Wheeler+ 1st round draft pick (and maybe more) for “future considerations
They are stuck with Wheeler. Chevaldayoff needs to show some balls and trade Scheifele before they get nothing back for him.
Sounds like the great fans of Winnipeg aren’t so great after all. Consider yourself lucky to have a team. Who the heck would want to play at that outpost?
Bad contracts are hard to move. May have to buy Wheeler out and take the hit and move on.
Not much of a hit; they save $10MM against the cap the next two seasons with a buyout.
You need a 3 team trade. Get Arizona or another team to eat some cap. I think teams would bit 5 million for 2 years left
Arizona (or another team) will eat some cap but price will be high
Not so sure. While cap hit is 8.5 this year is actually money is 6.5 this year’s 8.5 years after. So a cap floor team would benefit from retaining so cap and moving him to different team. This year would only take 2rd pick and then depends on how much the retain the next year. Winnipeg could still get something back when all said and done while probably be very little.