(Source: TheScore.com) – Blake Wheeler is the new captain of the Winnipeg Jets, the team announced Wednesday. Wheeler assumes the captaincy from Andrew Ladd, who was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks at last year’s trade deadline. The 30-year-old winger, signed through the next three seasons, led the Jets in scoring last year with 78 points in 82 games.
Actually, it wasn’t hard to guess. But holy shit, who would have thought back in January of 2011 when Blake Wheeler was a Bruin that he’d ever captain anything? I sure didn’t and neither did the Bruins. By February of that Stanley Cup winning season Wheeler was shipped out of Boston, with Mark Stuart, for what turned out to be a gem in Rich Peverley (and 1st round draft bust Boris Valabik). Peverley came up huge in the playoffs, including 2 goals in a must win Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final that evened the series at two games a piece heading back to Vancouver.
But since then boy has Blake Wheeler blossomed into a nice little player, huh? His spat over money kept him from signing with the team that drafted him in 2004, the then named Phoenix Coyotes, and he ended up in the Bruins possession. Although “serviceable” as they say in the biz, he was never really consistent or the best defensively or in the tough areas. Even today when Jimmy Hayes is struggling, or hot for a game or two, I sometimes get flashes of the old Wheeler days. Just a big boy you’re waiting to see finally put it together.
At the time I would have traded Blake Wheeler for a new coaches dry erase board and two packs of Donruss if it brought the Stanley Cup to Boston like it did in 2011. Five years later we see Wheeler did put it all together and now has the captaincy and massive piles of American cash in Winnipeg.
It’s always nice seeing a guy prove people wrong.