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06-12-2008, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by PhoPhan View Post
No, technically Wheeler did nothing wrong.

But there is also something to be said for paying one's dues. Every player in the NHL, save for a few exceptions, played for the team that drafted them. I imagine they feel similarly to how many of these fans feel.

The draft is in place for a reason. If everyone could just pick and choose where they wanted to play, the landscape of this league would be drastically different. What Wheeler did was within the rules, yes, but he exploited an obscure loophole, and we don't even know why yet.
The draft is a result of a CBA negotiated between the league and the player's association. Wheeler is a member of neither of these organizations. Now, if he wants to play in the NHL he's going to have to abide by the letter of the law of the CBA, but in no way is he beholden to the 'spirit of the law' or to uphold the point of the draft for the league's sake

Originally Posted by PhoPhan View Post
This is not strictly a business move, especially because it looks like Wheeler stands to lose a lot of money, at least in the short term. Simply, there must be something he personally dislikes about the Coyotes, and as a Coyotes fan, I take that personally.
And this moves us on to my next point, and that is that Wheeler surely turned down guaranteed money at some point and ran the risk of suffering a career ending injury. He paid a cost for his freedom. It's perfectly understandable that Coyotes fans might take this personally, but that is not my point. My point is that there is very little here to indicate that Wheeler has any sort of character or attitude issues. Last time I checked, not wanting to work and live in a particular city is not a character flaw.

Originally Posted by PhoPhan View Post
What we do know, however, is that he basically said a few weeks ago that the ball was in Phoenix's court to get the deal done, and it was up to them if he would end up playing there. Well, the Coyotes offered him as much as they legally could (which, it should be mentioned again, is more than anyone else can offer), and he still walked.

Well, it sounds like he just didn't want to play in Phoenix. I can understand if Coyote fans take that personally, I know I would, but this doesn't really speak to him being any sort of malcontent, which is what he's been painted as. He sounds like a guy who was presented an opportunity to play wherever he wanted, and he took that opportunity.

What really bothers me here is that I’m sure none of the fans who are *****ing about wheeler and calling him a bad seed would like to be 'drafted' by an employer and not have any say in who or where they work. Given the opportunity, I would have done the same thing that Wheeler did, and I think most of us would.

Now, the CBA exists for the good of the league, and I don't think we need to worry about this becoming a trend because most prospects aren’t going to turn down guaranteed money when they could get hurt tomorrow and never see a cent. But, as far as I'm concerned, if you're willing to play 2, 3, or 4 years for minimal money (CHL guys) or no money (NCAA), and risk a career ending injury, then you've earned your freedom. And if you do so then you're not breaking any rules.

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