Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wheeler Wasn't Looking Forward To Arbitration; Looks to Bruins Cup Win For Motivation

"It's never the most comfortable thing sitting in the room with your employer and hearing maybe not some of the nicest things about yourself," Wheeler admitted about the negotiation process.

"It's definitely nice to start off on a really good foot with these guys and I'm just really excited that it was done in a pretty timely fashion."

New signed Blake Wheeler can consider himself lucky as can the Winnipeg Jets organization, especially GM Kevin Cheveldayoff.

Most players this off season who have filed for arbitration have signed with their respective clubs before their hearing date, including Andrew Cogliano, who signed in Anaheim for Wheeler-like money.

"I think all sides are happy with the way it turned out," added Wheeler.

After seeing his former teammates in Boston raise the Stanley Cup months after he was traded from the Bruins, Wheeler uses it as motivation now as a Jet.

"It was definitely a mixed bag, for sure (watching the Bruins win the Cup)," Wheeler confessed.

"I wasn't necessarily cheering for them, but I wasn't cheering against them. I've played with all those guys so I was definitely happy to see them succeed and come through and win. I knew they were definitely capable of it. But it definitely hurt to not be a part of it."

When asked about if the Jets were a contender for making the playoffs, Wheeler stated, "There's no reason why we can't (make the playoffs)."

"Look at where these guys were last season … they were in a really good spot to make the playoffs, but a tough 20-game stretch really knocked us back. Most of the pieces are in place for guys to step up and we were a really young team, so we can build a future. There's no reason why we can't compete for a playoff spot this year."

When also asked about the fans in Winnipeg and their impact on the team, Wheeler stated, "I think you want to play for the fans, no question about that," Wheeler added. "There's really nothing better than knowing every night you're going to have good fan support in front of you … cheering you on in the good times and the bad.

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