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Rangers, Devils Meet With Wheeler

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06-12-2008, 08:38 AM
  #1
dougiebrown
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Rangers, Devils Meet With Wheeler

http://www.nypost.com/seven/06122008...ler_115190.htm

By LARRY BROOKS

June 12, 2008 -- The RangersNew York Rangers spent yesterday romancing a free agent right wing, and his name isn't Jaromir JagrJaromir Jagr .

Rather, even as No. 68 told The Post that he hasn't spoken to general manager Glen Sather since the May 6, post-elimination breakup day, the Blueshirts were attempting to entice 21-year-old Blake Wheeler into signing an Entry Level deal with the club.

Wheeler, whom the Coyotes selected fifth overall in the 2004 Entry Draft and who became an unrestricted free agent after rejecting a Phoenix contract offer last month, visited New York yesterday and took a tour of the club's facilities, The Post has learned.

The Rangers, however, are hardly alone in their pursuit of the 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger who is turning pro after playing three seasons for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Sources have confirmed that Wheeler also visited New Jersey, where GM Lou Lamoriello gave him the hard sell.

Under terms of the CBA, Wheeler cannot sign a contract until July 1.

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06-12-2008, 09:38 AM
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Turambar
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The Devils can have him, this kid's attitude is already exemplified by his refusal to sign with his draft team.

Call it innovative, call it ballsy, call it whatever you will, it's disrespectful and portrays an attitude that I don't want anywhere near my Rangers.

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06-12-2008, 09:45 AM
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JimEIV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyrJeff View Post
The Devils can have him, this kid's attitude is already exemplified by his refusal to sign with his draft team.

Call it innovative, call it ballsy, call it whatever you will, it's disrespectful and portrays an attitude that I don't want anywhere near my Rangers.
I always hate to agree with a Ranger fan......But +1.

Doesn't really seem like a "Lou Player" to me.


But as I said on the Devils board maybe we are trying to put together the "Great Golden Gopher Bust Line" in Lowell Tallackson-Rasmussen-Wheeler

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06-12-2008, 10:31 AM
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I find it interesting considering New Jersey went through the same thing with Van Ryn.

Even though it makes sense to try to get a guy like Wheeler without giving up more than an entry level contract.

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06-12-2008, 11:19 AM
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OmegaTheory
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Does anyone know exactly how many teams are trying to sign him?

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06-12-2008, 11:40 AM
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Phoenix has no one to blame but themselves. They're the idiots that went completely off the board with this dick.

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06-12-2008, 11:46 AM
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Explain to me why this is Phoenix's fault.

Explain to me how anyone could have seen, four years ago, that Blake Wheeler would pull this stunt, especially given the fact that in that span there's been a completely new collective bargaining agreement.

I'm not ready to crucify Wheeler, as we still don't have all the details (or any, really -- thanks, sports journalism), but I don't know how the Coyotes can be labeled as anything but a victim in this case.

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06-12-2008, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by PhoPhan View Post
Explain to me why this is Phoenix's fault.

Explain to me how anyone could have seen, four years ago, that Blake Wheeler would pull this stunt, especially given the fact that in that span there's been a completely new collective bargaining agreement.

I'm not ready to crucify Wheeler, as we still don't have all the details (or any, really -- thanks, sports journalism), but I don't know how the Coyotes can be labeled as anything but a victim in this case.
Just shouldn't have wasted 5th overall on this guy, that's all I'm saying. There were better picks, Wheeler would have been available later on.

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06-12-2008, 11:50 AM
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Does anyone know exactly how many teams are trying to sign him?
The entire league.

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06-12-2008, 11:58 AM
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hes gonna suck either way...a 6'4 220 guy who isnt physical

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06-12-2008, 12:01 PM
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hes gonna suck either way...a 6'4 220 guy who isnt physical

Viktor Kozlov round. 2

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06-12-2008, 12:11 PM
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I find it humorous how many posters here are throwing Wheeler under the bus when virtually every team in the league is falling over themselves trying to sign him. He obviously has *some* appeal....

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06-12-2008, 12:18 PM
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I find it humorous how many posters here are throwing Wheeler under the bus when virtually every team in the league is falling over themselves trying to sign him. He obviously has *some* appeal....
So did Fabian Brunnstrom and I think he was a joke too.

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06-12-2008, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Devilsfanatic View Post
Just shouldn't have wasted 5th overall on this guy, that's all I'm saying. There were better picks, Wheeler would have been available later on.
Yeah, it's easy to say that with hindsight. There were better picks than Patrik Stefan too, but hey, that's drafting for you.

The fact that the Coyotes went so far off the board and committed themselves to a guy like Wheeler only for him to basically spit in their faces speaks very lowly of Wheeler and no one else, IMO.

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06-12-2008, 12:28 PM
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Wheeler is a talented player on the ice. I said it while he was Coyotes property and I'm not going to stop just because I've learned he's a clown off the ice. People always complain about the bias toward big players, but guys like Wheeler are always targeted for not being physical. Someone who is 5'10" never gets chided for not being physical, but someone of Wheeler's size isn't allowed to play that style for some reason. Just because he's 6'4" doesn't mean he has to play like Cam Neely. That said, while he's not your standard power forward, he does have some grit to his game. He just needs to work on bringing it every game. Of course, his character issues may prevent him from ever reaching that potential, so it's a risk.

To say the Coyotes should have drafted someone is simply not taking into account the information available at the time. Until Wheeler decided he wasn't going to sign with the Coyotes, I was fully supportive of the pick. Wheeler had done nothing but what the Coyotes expected from him until a few weeks ago, and I'll reiterate because so few people seem to understand this: there is absolutely no way anyone could have seen this coming when the Coyotes drafted Blake Wheeler, especially given how hard they have tried to sign him (i.e. offering him a contract after last season and then offering him the max [that is, significantly more than anyone else could] this offseason). It's simply ignorant to say otherwise.

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06-12-2008, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
Yeah, it's easy to say that with hindsight. There were better picks than Patrik Stefan too, but hey, that's drafting for you.

The fact that the Coyotes went so far off the board and committed themselves to a guy like Wheeler only for him to basically spit in their faces speaks very lowly of Wheeler and no one else, IMO.
Stefan was the consensus #1 in 99. No one had Wheeler anywhere near the top 10, other than that idiot Barnett. Thank god he's gone.

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06-12-2008, 12:31 PM
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If Lou signs this kid and he becomes a bust... then so be it. We're not giving away anything other then money and with our prospect situation (wich isn't good at all) i'd be more then happy to have him in our organisation. Worst comes to worst, we send his punk ass to Lowell

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06-12-2008, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Devilsfanatic View Post
Stefan was the consensus #1 in 99. No one had Wheeler anywhere near the top 10, other than that idiot Barnett. Thank god he's gone.
So then I don't really understand where you're coming from. Why should the Coyotes be punished for going off the board with a pick? And how is it any different than if, say, Stamkos does the same thing with the Lightning next year for example?

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06-12-2008, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Devilsfanatic View Post
Stefan was the consensus #1 in 99. No one had Wheeler anywhere near the top 10, other than that idiot Barnett. Thank god he's gone.
Once again, you're ignoring facts. The false unanimity at Hockey's Future may have suggested otherwise, but there were a number of general managers who had eyes on Wheeler. The Coyotes tried to trade back, but weren't happy with the offers, so they took their guy at five rather than picking up a 2nd round pick and having to risk settling for someone else. They obviously thought Wheeler had top five talent, and they may still be right. Strictly based on his play, there aren't a whole lot of guys from that draft I would take over him in retrospect, at least not yet.

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06-12-2008, 12:43 PM
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I would be ok if we sign him, just I don't want to go give him more than he deserves.

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06-12-2008, 12:47 PM
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we were discussing a possibility of a conspiricy between the trade between Phoenix and New York that sent Montoya for a second round pick..






hm..

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06-12-2008, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilsfanatic View Post
Stefan was the consensus #1 in 99. No one had Wheeler anywhere near the top 10, other than that idiot Barnett. Thank god he's gone.
as if GM's pay attention to draft rankings outside of the 'cant miss' players. anything after that is pure speculation, especially since all you clowns would have never known about Zetterberg and Datsyuk in your "draft rankings", so why try to play genius? 2 of the best players in the league are nowhere to be found in the "consensus draft rankings" or even in the 1st round. whoops.

until there's info out about why Wheeler did what he did, its idiotic to assume he has to be "loyal" to the team that drafted him. all Wheeler has to do is turn around and say the same thing every corporate entity says, "its just business." every NHL club says the same thing when theyre shipping players off or out. "just business."

if Wheeler has legit reasons to raise a cold middle finger to the Yotes and Wild, so be it.

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06-12-2008, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Devilsfanatic View Post
Stefan was the consensus #1 in 99. No one had Wheeler anywhere near the top 10, other than that idiot Barnett. Thank god he's gone.
And Forsberg was rated like the 70'ish best prospect when the Flyers took him in the top 10. Did that make it a "stupid" pick as well?

Like PP said - drafting is anything but an exact science, and to blame someone for going off the board in what's turned out to be a weak draft year is just downright hypocrisy and ignorance.

Next 7 picks after Wheeler was selected: Montoya, Olesz, Picard, Smid, Valabik, Tukonen, Thelen. Which one of those studs would you want? I bet that the compensatory pick for Wheeler is worth significantly more than any one of those guys except Olesz & Smid.

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06-12-2008, 01:10 PM
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dougiebrown
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I don't know anyone who had Forsberg rated out of the top 5-10 people in that draft. Terrible example.

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06-12-2008, 01:18 PM
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I don't know anyone who had Forsberg rated out of the top 5-10 people in that draft. Terrible example.
The point was that he was projected by the scouting services as a 3rd round pick.

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