Analysis of the Jets new contract with Blake Wheeler, Canucks Alex Edler to have a hearing with the IIHF, calling upon the Oilers to re-sign young players like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins this summer, and MLSE boss Tim Leiweke defends the new contract of Leafs GM Dave Nonis.

Jets re-sign Blake Wheeler to 6-year deal.

Jets re-sign Blake Wheeler to 6-year deal.

TSN.CA: The Winnipeg Jets last night avoided salary arbitration with winger Blake Wheeler by signing him to a six-year, $33.6 million contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an average annual cap hit of $5.6 million for Wheeler, more than doubling the $2.55 million annual average salary of his previous contract. No word yet if it comes with a no-trade clause. It’s a steep raise, but one Jets management evidently feel is worthwhile to lock him up through his playing prime.

Wheeler, 26, has steadily developed into a scoring star with the Jets. He had a career-high 64 points in 2011-12 and had 41 points in 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. As the 26-year-old Wheeler matures, he appears to be shaking off the inconsistency which dogged him earlier in his career.  

His expensive new salary comes heightened expectations, which will place additional pressure upon his shoulders. Should Wheeler meet this challenge, he’ll be a key component in the Jets quest for playoff contention.

Wheeler’s new contract pushes the Jets payroll to over $58 million next season, with Zach Bogosian left to re-sign. Bogosian is slated for a salary arbitration hearing on August 2, but you can bet Jets management are working toward re-signing him before then. 

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler will have a hearing with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) disciplinary committee regarding an incident during this year’s World Championships, when he was suspended for a knee-on-knee hit on Canadian star Eric Staal. Edler was suspended two games for the hit, and the IIHF recommended a five-game ban, which could spill over into the Sochi Olympics.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the recommendation for a five-game ban holds up, Edler’s Olympic hopes for 2014 could be dashed.

EDMONTON JOURNAL:  David Staples recommends the Oilers re-sign youngsters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry to long-term contract right now, believing they’ll get them under more affordable deals. The trio will be restricted free agents next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if the Oilers follow Staples advice, but Nugent-Hopkins and Schultz won’t have arbitration rights, which gives the Oilers leverage in contract talks.

TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president Tim Leiweke defended the recent re-signing of Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis to a five-year contract extension.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leiweke seemed surprised by the reaction toward Nonis’ new contract, as more than a few pundits and Leafs bloggers have suggested Nonis hasn’t done much yet to justify such a generous extension. Time will tell if Leiweke’s faith is justified.

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5 Responses to NHL Canadian Corner – Saturday, July 27, 2013.

  1. SmielmaN says:

    No doubt leiweke was surprised at the backlash. He may have to drop one of his two best D men from last year because he signed the new “Gomez” contract and gave too much to gunnerson and then signed a guy to play full time D who hasn’t played in the NHL for 3 years. All strange calls and ones tht earn a 5 yr extension? Look at the leafs signed D for next season as of now. Atrocious.

    • Hockey Dude says:

      Agreed. D is a mess. I said in rumours that we know of 3 for sures, Phaneuf, Gunnar and Jake.
      He also has Kadri to deal with.
      Bad timing on the extension as his work is not finished for this year. See how he handles the cap first.

    • Shticky says:

      You think a bottom pairing D man who sat more games then hes played makes us that much worse? I hope who ever he gets traded to wants him as bad as as most of the people who think he cant be replaced feel about him, we will get a good deal for sure. Its Cody Franson not Nick Lidstrom his stats are exaggerated. Besides him its the exact same D with the exception that our prospects will be a little more developed and we now have another guy in Ranger who even tho he hasnt been in the league for a couple years is not old by any stretch of the imagination and looked pretty good for the Marlies last year he could fill Fransons spot fine on the bottom pair with Fraser and playing pp minutes, if anything he is more responsible in his own end where Franson was not very good.

  2. Fred65 says:

    EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples recommends the Oilers re-sign youngsters Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Justin Schultz and Jeff Petry to long-term contract right now, believing they’ll get them under more affordable deals. The trio will be restricted free agents next summer.

    And some how their agents haven’t figure this out as well…get real. That’s why they’re paid the big bucks

  3. Peter says:

    Good point.
    If Ranger recaptures his former level of play and Liles plays better,
    The loss of Franson is minimal at best.

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