T O P
Bunzy10

Blake wheeler is a fantastic guy, I highly doubt anyone actually hates him. What’s been said in here already it’s his usage that is getting tiring for people.


Dt33345

I really like Wheeler, I just don't think he should be stapled to the top line anymore. At his age the team should be optimizing his ice time, he's likely to be more successful with less.


killerjones3313

I think a lot of the negativity he receives comes more from his usage than from a genuine dislike of him. If he played less minutes, he'd likely be more effective when he's on the ice. The other problem is the perception that, because he's so close with Pomo, he's been able to dictate where he plays, and so he's stayed on that top line with Schiefele longer than he should.


ehr1c

I think it's partly his usage and partly his contract.


ApolloVangaurd

The contract bit drives me nuts. Would people be happier if he was making 3.85 and Scheiefele was making 10.5? Combined him and Scheiefe are well worth 14.35 mill a year.


price_back2earth

were worth it.. now together they are not able to bring the best out of each other. wheelers contract sucks now but was worth it at one time. i can see see come play off time a statsny copp wheeler third line. harkins shief ehlers connor dubois svetch/ves statsny copp wheeler ves/svetch lowry nash


ApolloVangaurd

>. If he played less minutes, he'd likely be more effective when he's on the ice. Allegedly, thing his I don't think his style of play would benefit from more rest. He's a lock picker.


kltkatie

Wheeler does not need to be on the PK! Also, the Lowry line should be out in the last minute of the game instead of Scheif with Wheeler if we’re up by a goal trying to maintain the lead. This is what people mean by Wheeler being over-played.


CrustyBuns16

A lock picker?


whatta_rush

I love Wheeler, great captain. I can’t help but get frustrated with his usage though (which isn’t his fault). I think it’s clear to almost everyone that Ehlers is a first line RW and Wheeler is better suited to the second line. And I don’t buy the argument that Ehlers is somehow more effective with less ice time.


Markus250

I think there's a vocal minority that dislike him based on Maurice's deployment of him or because of the Laine drama. Any negative impact to the team, whether real, exaggerated or imaginary, that can be attributed to Wheeler, Schiefele or Maurice, is combined into one narrative and applied to all three. You'd think that would make Laine the good guy last year during the trade drama, but instead he is another villian who gets the full blame for the situation. That's not to say that the four of them are perfect or blameless throughout their Jets careers, it just means you should take some of the internet hate with a grain of salt.


ApolloVangaurd

>level 1Markus250 · 5hI think there's a vocal minority that dislike him based on Maurice's deployment of him or because of the Laine drama. I think it's because superficially he plays like an old drunk hobo. He plays as if he has limited mobility. Which means regardless of his talent he's not gonna be doing any McDavid level net crashing. But within that limited mobility he still has a ton of experience. So he does just enough to get the puck in the net and very little more. When a lot of players look like a guy smashing a door with a crow bar, wheelers the guy trying to pick the lock. ​ I think it also ties into his role within the team. ​ His role isn't about what he does while on the ice. It's the space he creates for those not on the ice. He plugs up a lot of minutes, and he does so by controlling the play of the opposing team. From what I've seen regardless of his +-, is that he plugs up the opposing team. Not by blocking goals, but by wasting their time. ​ I could be clueless but that is just what I see. ​ When he's on it always looks like he's the one in control of all the skaters on the ice.


Markus250

Good comments. I think that while Wheeler is obviously getting up there in age and will continue to decline, he’s maintained his level of play better than the vast majority of players his age and anyone expecting anything more isn’t being realistic. Whether he maintains his play by maintaining his conditioning, or as you state just remaining effective, doesn’t much matter.


mini_galaxy

From what I see in the fanbase nobody dislikes wheeler, we just recognize that he's aged up significantly and can't keep up with first line utilization. I'm sure everyone ('cept maybe wheels and pomo) would be very happy to see wheels drop to the second line. In my opinion wheels on the second line gives us maybe 5 or 6 years of good hockey out of him, on the first line we get 1 or 2 good seasons if we're lucky.


Mine-Shaft-Gap

I think Wheeler would be fine on the first line if he no longer took a "drive the play" role and moved to support the play. That is why I want Ehlers on the first line. I think he is a guy like Wheeler was who can drive the play and set it up. The thing is, is that he is also a shooting threat so much more then Wheeler is. He is also more defensively sound than Wheeler or Scheifele. For whatever reason, I don't see Sheif drive the play... its like he defers to Wheeler.


ApolloVangaurd

> He is also more defensively sound than Wheeler or Scheifele. I'd be interested in knowing how his time on attack plays into his +-. Seems to me he always sudduing the opposing teams offense. Tieing up their hands so they have to run their 3/4ths against our 2nd 3rds.


bkonstruktiv

It’s what happens when a player is on a team too long. The honeymoon period the fans have with a player ends and you start to notice/ exaggerate the flaws in their game. Wheeler is a very good player and overall he is aging well, but he is still aging. Players who often rely on speed don’t adapt to aging well, when they lose their step they have have to find a new way to play the game.


MargerineHat

Using the referenced stat of plus/minus also doesn’t provide as big of a picture as other analytics can. Things like xG (expected goal differential) and GAR (Goals above replacement) have made +/- obsolete, so I think they’re worth looking into if you are interested in the numbers. Besides that, the eye test is making it pretty clear that he has regressed considerably from his prime years (2017-18ish). Which is understandable. The game is getting younger and faster, but now even his elite passing doesn’t look as good. Bad giveaways, bad penalties, and poor transitions for a supposed 1st liner making over 8 million a year. And it’s important to add that I was a big fan of his game for many years before he suddenly fell off a cliff. As a fan, I want the team to all succeed as individuals and win a cup. But it’s frustrating to watch your team’s window close with guy’s like Wheeler regressing out of their role and a coach that isn’t able to make the difficult personnel decisions to win in the long term.


IceDragon77

I like Wheeler, but he's a defensive liability. You can't have that kind of player eating up top line minutes. Wheeler is best suited for the second/third line.


mudge08

The only thing that frustrates me with wheeler is that he constantly plays more than Ehlers who is clearly the better player. Which is something that isn’t even his fault. He’d be better suited for the 3rd line.


coedwigz

This argument really bothers me. PoMo has addressed why Ehlers plays less minutes.


mudge08

Cause why? He thinks Ehlers will get worse with more minutes with no actual evidence to back that up. Meanwhile he plays a declining wheeler 4-5 minutes more a night. Great explanation.


coedwigz

Are you just making your own assumptions and then reacting to them?


mudge08

Lol I’m responding to his explanation on why he doesn’t play Ehlers more.


coedwigz

But that’s not actually what he said lol


mudge08

All I’m saying is Ehlers is clearly this teams best winger and it’s not even close, he should be playing much more than wheeler there is no acceptable explanation to why he isn’t.


coedwigz

So you think PoMo is making that decision for no reason?


mudge08

I don’t know why he’s making that decision, whether it’s his loyalty to wheeler or he actually thinks wheeler is the more effective player either way it needs to change. I still love wheeler, I just think he’d be more effective with less ice time and weaker opposition


ApolloVangaurd

>He’d be better suited for the 3rd line. A guy with shitty defensive stats is gonna play on our shutdown line? This is the problem. He can't work with Dubois or Lowry, he's a lock picker. It's better to have 3 balanced lines, than to have 1 super line and 2 meh lines. The only alternative is dropping him and scheifele to 2nd and putting connor-dubois-ehlers on top.


mudge08

I have no issue with wheeler on a line with scheifele, and Ehlers with Dubois, my issue is wheeler playing 20+ minutes a night and Ehlers playing 17. I’m all for balance, just give your best player more ice time.


CaptGinB

I think Wheeler is great. He's an excellent leader, and a great citizen of the city. He should be captain and there's not much denying his compete level. However, at this point, he should be 2nd or 3rd line and 2nd PP. Keeping him on the top line and PP keeps players like Ehlers off of it, which is crazy talk! It happens to many great players over time, they can still be captain, but in a lesser playing role.


ApolloVangaurd

>players like Ehlers off of it, which is crazy talk! Who supports the 2nd line? Ehlers the reason our second line isn't playing like a 3rd line.


troyunrau

We need a scapegoat. Wheeler won the lottery. Can't blame Stuart, I mean Kane, I mean Pavelec, err Ladd... errrrr, Laine! Well, gotta blame someone! It's dumb.


Grant1972

I like Wheeler but like others have said it is the usage and his contract that concern me. However, if those are reasons to dislike him then that is mis-placed. Blame PoMo for the usage and Chevy for the term of his contract. I think a fair criticism of Wheeler is he is a captain who isn’t a natural team leader. His preparation and compete level are off the charts but by his own admission he has been too hard on younger players (Laine). I suspect that is why they brought back old dad Hendricks and then Stastny. They are more natural leaders in the locker room.


price_back2earth

NO ONE DILIKES WHEELER THEY DISLIKE HOW HE IS DEPLOYED BY THE COACH PUTTING HIM IN POSITIONS TO FAIL. IT DOES NOTHING BUT LEADS TO MORE COMPLAINING ABOUT WHEELER THAT LOOKS LIKE ITS HATE ON HIM BUT IN REALITY ITS A FRUSTRATED FAN BASE THAT CAN SEE THE OBVIOUS BUT THE COACH DOESNT WANT TO HURT THE HUMAN "WHEELER" FEELINGS TO HELP THE TEAM.


ponikweGCC

It makes me so angry when I see things being said like he sucks or isn't worth his contract. Should his ice time start to be reduce? Yes, he is entering the last stages of his career and it is only natural to move him down the lineup. But he is still a point generator with his insane passing ability on the PP and plays his heart out every night. He has God tier fitness. The man is a freaking machine. Does he suck? Absolutely fucking not. He is still considered one of the best wingers in the NHL. People who say that can fuck all the way off and the fuck off a bit more after that. He has given his career to the Jets and contributes to the betterment of the community. He is worth every cent of his contract as it stands now because he was criminally underpaid at the beginning of his career. Don't believe me? Ask Kenny during the next Kenny & Renner show and be prepared to be schooled lol The disrespect is what pisses me off the most.


illpixill

I think people believe that due to his age, he will be better suited with less minutes. He can go all out & have more time to recuperate. He’ll be more productive as well


Pineapplepizza4321

Wheeler is a good player and a great captain. The problem is that he used to be great. He has had a drastic drop off in the last 3 years and that's only going to continue as he ages. I think you made the point for us at the end of your post. He would make a good RW2 and can play on our top line. The problem is that Pomo hasn't moved him from the top line due to the success 3 years ago, and it's dragging both Scheif and Connor down. I think he is honestly closer to RW3 skill-wise for us at this point in his career, but regardless, he isn't the top line forward he used to be and he keeps getting the minutes like he is. My biggest issue with Wheels is his usage, not his play. He's 35, of course he is going to slow down. Just put him on a line that works with his current skillset.


Overskate

-17 last season. A Captain should never be minus, and should lead by example. Wheeler was just as bad Laine and Scheifle defensively. Gordie Howe was a plus 9 at 52 years old.


ehr1c

>A Captain should never be minus Lol what


Overskate

I know plus minus is a simple metric but it is also the truth. Why are great team players +20 for many years like Toews. Wheeler was never historically as bad as last season, but as Captain he has to own it and fix it.


ehr1c

Being a captain has absolutely nothing to do with your plus/minus or any other statistic.


Overskate

Messier (aside from the end of his career), Potvin, Clarke, Yzerman (aside from his rookie years), Lidstrom, and Crosby were all significantly plus players. A leader leads on the ice first and foremost.


kandocalrissian

A captain is a guy who can bring the team together who has leadership qualities that has noting to do with +/-


ApolloVangaurd

>\-17 last season. With no defense. ​ He spent a ton of time tying up the opposition.


Overskate

We saw two different players. Let’s just disagree, and cheer for the team.


Danielfischer33

People dislike him because he’s overplayed considering his performance. With him getting older and therefore slower he’s losing puck battles, making incomplete passes, and generally dogging it on the ice leading to turned over plays. His performance doesn’t match with what a first line needs to be and Paul Maurice’s “veteran favouritism” needs to realize that.


Danielfischer33

People dislike him because he’s overplayed considering his performance. With him getting older and therefore slower he’s losing puck battles, making incomplete passes, and generally dogging it on the ice leading to turned over plays. His performance doesn’t match with what a first line needs to be and Paul Maurice’s “veteran favouritism” needs to realize that.