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Blake Wheeler rejects Coyotes offer

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05-30-2008, 04:15 PM
  #1
Ian Altenbaugh
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Blake Wheeler rejects Coyotes offer

The Coyotes first pick in the 2004 draft, Blake Wheeler, rejected a contract offer from the Coyotes and will become an unrestricted free-agent.

Originally drafted as a center, Wheeler was drafted as a junior in highschool and converted to wing once he went to Univeristy of Minnesota. When drafted Wheeler was coming off a season in which he had 39 goals in 27 games. He has not been as productive in the college but should be a good addition to any team he signs too.

It would seem to me that a lot of teams would be interested in a 21-year-old skill winger. Whichever team takes a chance will likely have to sign him to a one-way contract.

This will be an interesting story to watch because he could alter the way a team drafts and signs players in free-agency.

The Coyotes will get the 35th pick overall making them have a whopping five picks in the first two rounds. Still though, this has to be at least a minor set back to the Coyotes youth movement.

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05-30-2008, 04:26 PM
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Barney Gumble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Altenbaugh View Post
Whichever team takes a chance will likely have to sign him to a one-way contract.
I pretty sure he's still subject to signing an entry level contract (ie., two-way deal).

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05-30-2008, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Barney Gumble View Post
I pretty sure he's still subject to signing an entry level contract (ie., two-way deal).
yup, they do

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05-30-2008, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Barney Gumble View Post
I pretty sure he's still subject to signing an entry level contract (ie., two-way deal).
So there would be a limit to how much he could be offered, or is there no limit to potential bonuses?

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05-30-2008, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Furious George View Post
So there would be a limit to how much he could be offered, or is there no limit to potential bonuses?
He is like any other rookie (except he signs a 2 year contract instead of a 3 year contact due to his age). Since PHO could offer him a rookie contract under the old CBA (because he was drafted before the lockout), PHO could offer him about and extra $100K per year, and another $400K or so of signing bonus. Per Maloney's statement, they offered him a "max" type of deal, and Wheeler's going to be out at least $600K where he signs, assuming he's playing at the NHL level.

That's the key - all entry level deals (including the UFA ones) are 2 way deals, so if he's playing in the AHL, he's taking about a 90% paycut. He really has to think that he has a better chance to make an NHL roster somewhere other than PHO for this to make any sense financially.

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05-30-2008, 11:25 PM
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Punk.

Hope he doesn't make it, with this stunt.

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05-30-2008, 11:28 PM
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Punk.

Hope he doesn't make it, with this stunt.
I agree. How dare he try to do whats best for him.

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05-30-2008, 11:35 PM
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I agree. How dare he try to do whats best for him.
Can't see how this is the best for him. Yotes are close to the worst team in the league. If he's going to get a chance for regular minutes anywhere, it's there. This just seems like a case of him not wanting to play in Phoenix.

Same as Eric Lindros or Eli Manning, in my book.

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05-30-2008, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Guillemin View Post
Can't see how this is the best for him. Yotes are close to the worst team in the league. If he's going to get a chance for regular minutes anywhere, it's there. This just seems like a case of him not wanting to play in Phoenix.

Same as Eric Lindros or Eli Manning, in my book.
Can't say it didn't work out for them.

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05-30-2008, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guillemin View Post
Can't see how this is the best for him. Yotes are close to the worst team in the league. If he's going to get a chance for regular minutes anywhere, it's there. This just seems like a case of him not wanting to play in Phoenix.

Same as Eric Lindros or Eli Manning, in my book.
Im sure Eli really regrets his decision.

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05-30-2008, 11:50 PM
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It's a terrible precedent to start setting:

"Hey kids, if you don't like who drafts you, either ***** until you get your way or refuse to talk to them and walk at the first opportunity"

The way the NHL free agency is structured now he would've been an UFA anyway in 6 years or less.

Besides, if people advocate the Wheeler approach, why bother having a draft at all? Just let players coming into the league sign wherever they want... That'll work out great.

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05-31-2008, 12:19 AM
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ah, shows true character...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morozov View Post
Im sure Eli really regrets his decision.
there's a huge different between Eli and a normally drafted player. The kid was talked about being a franchise QB just like his brother. Wheeler, i dont think anyone is thinking hes a franchise player

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05-31-2008, 12:27 AM
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Something else has to be going on

I have read conflicting reports regarding Wheeler's relationship with the Coyotes. I have read that Gretzky loved Wheeler's work ethic. I had also read that the Coyotes were frustrated with how long Wheeler was taking to develop.

The fact of the matter is that the Coyotes took a calculated risk by drafting a high school kid and it did not work out the way they anticipated.

Wheeler has the size, 6'5, 214 lbs, and an excellent work ethic in addition to a good set of wheels and some decent hands.

His only real knock I know of is his play making. He has all the parts to be a great power forward.

The Arizona Republic reported that Wheeler was made aware that he could not get more money elsewhere but opted to become a UFA to sign with a different team.

It seems that for whatever reason he just does not want to play for the Coyotes.

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05-31-2008, 12:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beukeboom Fan View Post
He is like any other rookie (except he signs a 2 year contract instead of a 3 year contact due to his age). Since PHO could offer him a rookie contract under the old CBA (because he was drafted before the lockout), PHO could offer him about and extra $100K per year, and another $400K or so of signing bonus. Per Maloney's statement, they offered him a "max" type of deal, and Wheeler's going to be out at least $600K where he signs, assuming he's playing at the NHL level.

That's the key - all entry level deals (including the UFA ones) are 2 way deals, so if he's playing in the AHL, he's taking about a 90% paycut. He really has to think that he has a better chance to make an NHL roster somewhere other than PHO for this to make any sense financially.
The signing bonus limits are part of the total salary limit, not incremental to it. So if a rookie spent the entire season on the NHL roster they wouldn't make any incremental $ from the signing bonus. Crunching some numbers (I'm going to leave out "B" performance bonuses for the moment):


Wheeler signs with Phoenix:
Best case: $984,200 NHL salary + $850,000 "A" bonus for 2 years = $3,668,400
Worst case: $295,260 signing bonus + $65,000 AHL salary** for 2 years = $720,520

Wheeler signs with another team:
Best case: $875,000 NHL salary + $850,000 "A" bonus for 2 years = $3,450,000
Worst case: $87,500 signing bonus + $65,000 AHL salary** for 2 years = $305,000

** I'm using the new CBA minor league salary limit, this is grandfathered for Wheeler under the old CBA and might be slightly higher but I couldn't find the exact amount quickly.

"A" Performance bonuses: The $850,000 I included for possible Exhibit 5 "A" bonuses are for finishing among the team leaders in goals, assists, time on ice, and several other cateogories. Teams have a lot of flexibility in defining these bonuses however there are $ limits for each individual bonus and minimal requirements to achieve it. e.g. To get a time on ice (TOI) bonus Wheeler would have to finish among the top 6 forwards on the team in TOI.


"B" Performance bonuses: Both Phoenix and any other team can offer Exhibit 5 "B" bonuses up to the amount of $2million per year. These bonuses are for league-wide trophies and the only realistic one for Wheeler would be to finish in the top 3 for the Calder trophy, unless you think he can do top 5 for the Hart, Richard, Selke, Jennings or Conn Smythe.

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05-31-2008, 12:55 AM
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Don't like it, especially if Phoenix offered him max. Teams should be able to retain a players rights if they offer him a max rookie contract.

Playing in the NHL is a privalege, not a right.

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05-31-2008, 01:05 AM
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It's going to happen again, but this is a rare situation, as the player has to stay in college a very long time. This isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

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05-31-2008, 01:07 AM
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Originally Posted by backs4mvp View Post
Don't like it, especially if Phoenix offered him max. Teams should be able to retain a players rights if they offer him a max rookie contract.

Playing in the NHL is a privalege, not a right.
No, playing in the NHL is a job, a choice. Yes he's lucky he has the talent to potentially do so, but that doesn't mean he owes anyone anything.

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05-31-2008, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mouser View Post
Wheeler signs with Phoenix:
Best case: $984,200 NHL salary + $850,000 "A" bonus for 2 years = $3,668,400
Worst case: $295,260 signing bonus + $65,000 AHL salary** for 2 years = $720,520

Wheeler signs with another team:
Best case: $875,000 NHL salary + $850,000 "A" bonus for 2 years = $3,450,000
Worst case: $87,500 signing bonus + $65,000 AHL salary** for 2 years = $305,000
And what about the ECHL? I hope he fails miserably.

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05-31-2008, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bulisian Spinorama View Post
No, playing in the NHL is a job, a choice. Yes he's lucky he has the talent to potentially do so, but that doesn't mean he owes anyone anything.
I disagree. I think when a team takes a huge risk picking you much higher than you were slated to go and takes an incredible amount of heat for it, you do owe them something. It's called loyalty. It may not be a law that binds you to a team but it should be something, and unless Wheeler was treated unfairly to the likes that we've never before seen with a prospect, it would seem he has none.

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05-31-2008, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bulisian Spinorama View Post
No, playing in the NHL is a job, a choice. Yes he's lucky he has the talent to potentially do so, but that doesn't mean he owes anyone anything.
Right, it's also a job to work at the best, biggest, and by far the best paying firm(NHL) and not wanting to work in a specific sector(Phoenix).

If you're not happy working in a specific sector of the most prestigous firm(by far) go work somewhere else.

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05-31-2008, 01:55 AM
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Originally Posted by The Nemesis View Post
It's a terrible precedent to start setting:

"Hey kids, if you don't like who drafts you, either ***** until you get your way or refuse to talk to them and walk at the first opportunity"

The way the NHL free agency is structured now he would've been an UFA anyway in 6 years or less.

Besides, if people advocate the Wheeler approach, why bother having a draft at all? Just let players coming into the league sign wherever they want... That'll work out great.
The "Wheeler approach" only works for him (and AJ Thelen last year) because they were drafted under the old CBA and became UFAs through a loophole in Exhibit 16 of the CBA that made them not subject to the current rules for re-entering the draft.

Most current draftees who don't sign by the deadline will re-enter the draft and NOT become UFAs (unless not selected in the subsequent draft). The only exception is NCAA players who "remains a bona fide college student through the graduation of his college class" - his team has until Aug 15 after graduation to sign him. He is inelligible for that years draft and will become a UFA (like Thelen and Wheeler) but still be subject to all the ELS limits.

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05-31-2008, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backs4mvp View Post
Right, it's also a job to work at the best, biggest, and by far the best paying firm(NHL) and not wanting to work in a specific sector(Phoenix).

If you're not happy working in a specific sector of the most prestigous firm(by far) go work somewhere else.
Why go work somewhere else when you dont need to?

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05-31-2008, 09:52 AM
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I would be very surprised if he didn't sign in Minnesota.

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05-31-2008, 10:13 AM
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I think it might be better for him in the short run. He can pick a team where he feels he is the best fit, potentially have a handshake opportunity to make a NHL roster, and then more importantly be in line for an upgrade in salary in short order.

Though it does set a bad trend to follow.

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05-31-2008, 10:25 AM
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It does leave a bad taste in the mouth as most good players get drafted by teams that by definition are not so good and stick it out at least enough time to see if the team can progress. The draft is about giving bad teams that chance. And most players deal with where they go until UFA status and do not pull loophole moves. It smacks a bit of a character issue to me to be honest and signing him would be a worry. That said others like Elway have done it and in most cases, if they win, how they got there has been forgotten. I would have a slight nagging worry though if I were the team serious about signing him.

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