Jul 29 2013, 1:00am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
According to the Canadian Press via The Hockey News, Wheeler's new deal comes mere days after the Jets re-signed Bryan Little to a five-year contract of his own worth $23.5 million. Both of them avoided arbitration by signing their respective contracts.
All in all, five Jets filed for arbitration. Four of the five, with the exception of defenseman Zach Bogosian, have settled.
He also indicated in an NHL.com report of Tal Pinchevsky that re-signing with Winnipeg was a no-brainer.
"For me, it was virtually a no-brainer. I sat down with my agent this spring. I looked him in the eyes and said,'This is where I want to be.' I believe we have what it takes to get to the next level. This is just part of the process. I really, truly believe that great things are in store for this group."
His 19 goals in 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 NHL season was his highest since he was a rookie with the Boston Bruins, per the Winnipeg Sun. He declared the franchise's faith in him will lead to greater things.
"Now having that vote of confidence from a franchise, I'm the kind of person that kind of takes that and runs with it. Having faith put in me just gives me life and energy to go out there and hopefully reach new heights because I think there's more in store, for sure."
Mike Brehm of USA Today Sports writes the $5.6 million salary cap hit on Wheeler's new contract makes him the highest-paid Jets forward. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom takes home the highest paycheck on the roster with a $5.75 million annual salary.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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