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JN Wraparound: Wheeler Opens Up About Last Season

“JN Wraparound” is a new feature we’re going to try out here where we’ll share transactions and news items concerning the Jets, Central division rivals and around the league that you may have missed over the past 24 hours or so.

Regardless of what anyone says, the disappointment and frustration that the Jets had with the way their season went was clearly evident to many as rumors of in-fighting and rifts in the dressing room filled radio, TV and digital forums. So in Blake Wheeler’s one-on-one interview with TSN’s Sara Orlesky, it wasn’t a surprise to hear him say that the expectations and pressure that the team and he faced being one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup weighed heavily on him.

What was a little bit surprising was to hear how candid he was about how those pressures affected his personal life outside of the rink. Blake also acknowledged that how he treats younger players now as captain of the Winnipeg Jets maybe has to be different from how he was traded when he first broke into the league.

“You have to approach them differently. You have to sort of coddle them a little bit and if you don’t, then you’re too hard on them.” said Blake when asked about how he interacts with younger players coming in – a question that was obviously pointing towards rumors of a conflict between himself, Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine at the end of last season.

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“I think that I learned real early in my career [that] you’re never as good or as bad as people say you are. […] A year ago, I was nominated for the Mark Messier award, and people were telling me I was a “legendary leader”, and this year, I’m the problem. So, it’s somewhere in the middle.”


Latest Transactions

Calgary Flames – re-signed D Michael Stone to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Minnesota Wild – Re-signed LW Kevin Fiala to a two-year, $6 million contract.

New York Rangers – re-signed LW Brendan Lemieux to a one-year, $900,000 contract.

Latest transactions are powered by PuckPedia.com


On The Net

Wednesday was a very busy day for Jets news and notes as things started ramping up for the new season.

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Murat Ates provided some great insight (and a bit of a geography lesson) into the status of Patrik Laine, his current contract status and how a short term deal likely benefits both him and the Jets.

Amid strong hints of home, Patrik Laine looks headed to short-term solution with Jets – The Athletic

Also on The Athletic is the season preview for the Winnipeg Jets in which Dom Luszczyszyn doesn’t exactly have a great forecast for the Jets chances this season, basically calling it 50-50 on if they even make the playoffs. Plenty of charts and info and data here which backs up his thoughts.

2019-20 NHL Season Preview: Winnipeg Jets – The Athletic

Frank Seravalli of TSN weighed in on the Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor contract issues. While their issues don’t seem to be as dire as the Leafs with Mitch Marner or the Canucks with Brock Boeser, Seravalli did point out how the Jets should focused on how signing them sooner than later for the sake of Salary Cap management.

Why every day matters for Jets with Laine and Connor – TSN.ca

Reddit user /u/Hellabuyck provided a transcript for a recent Andrew Copp interview done on TSN 1290 in which he opened up about the very contentious RFA arbitration process

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Copp on Arbitration Process, Opportunity with Unsigned RFAs, Season Expectations (Transcription) – /R/WinnipegJets


Seen On Twitter

Elliotte Friedman earlier this week on his 31 Thoughts column talked about Laine and how there may be some sore feelings from how things ended last season between Patrik and the club and more to the point, Patrik and fellow teammates Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele. The dressing room issues the Jets had were well noted at the end of the season and to that point it looks like there was a summer of healing to be done with this interesting note from Darren Dreger

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In “Help Wanted” news, TNSE is looking for someone good with the videos and with a flair for creativity to join their game presentation team for the Manitoba Moose. The truth is though the posting of a job opening is burying the leade a bit as the mind behind some of the Moose’s fantastic pre-game and hype videos is going to do be now doing the same for the NHL club which based on the video posted below should prove a lot of fun for Jets fans.

Both the Manitoba Moose and Winnipeg ICE announced that single game tickets are on sale.