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Winnipeg Jets place Blake Wheeler on unconditional waivers for purpose of contract buyout

The second ever buyout by the organization.

When the Jets traded captain Andrew Ladd in February of 2016 they dealt the only captain the franchise had had since relocation from Atlanta. Now the second captain in franchise history Blake Wheeler (who was named captain back on August 31st, 2016) will be bought out by the organization it is being reported by Darren Dreger. The team had removed the ‘C’ from Wheeler at the start of the 2022-23 season.

Wheeler was set to enter the final year of his five-year contract extension which was signed in September of 2018 when he still had one year remaining on his old contract. It had an AAV of 8.25 million. The buyout period will cover two seasons and have a cap hit of $2,750,000 per.

Photo Credit: Colby Spence (Illegal Curve)

During his time in Winnipeg he celebrated his 1000th NHL game. While not all of those games were with Winnipeg he leaves the franchise as the leader in a number of (Jets 2.0) categories including:

874 – games played
540 – assists
795 – points
11 – shorthanded goals

If you choose to combine the Thrashers/Jets records as the NHL does then that would add another 23 games to his total (7G 10A).

His most memorable regular season game in a Jets uniform was probably the four goal contest against the Penguins but he has made plenty of memories in Manitoba including a fantastic run to the Western Conference Finals in 2017-18. Off the ice the Wheelers (he and his wife) were involved in helping to raise funds for the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

He was the final player on the Jets with who had also played for the Thrashers in Atlanta. So it brings an end that connectivity as well.

This is just the second time the organization has bought out a player. Mark Stuart was bought out by Winnipeg six years ago today in 2017 in the final year of a four-year contract.


Jets have made it official. Here is a thank you message from Wheeler to fans.

“I want to thank everyone in Winnipeg for all the love and support over these past 12 years,” said Blake Wheeler. “It has been my absolute honour and privilege to be a Winnipeg Jet and to represent this city and organization. My family and I can’t thank everyone in the city and province enough for everything you’ve done for us. Winnipeg is always going to be a home to myself, my wife Sam, and our children: Louie, Leni, and Mase. Thank you so much for the support, love and friendship that you’ve shown us these past 12 years and we look forward to rooting on the Jets in the future.”