Discussion of the Day: 10/17/23

Discussion of the Day: 10/17/23

Happy Tuesday! We are back with an afternoon edition of Discussion of the Day because we had a bit of a busy morning with back-to-back stuff from Jack and Joe. The New York Rangers improved to 2-1-0 on the season following a win vs. the Arizona Coyotes which got pretty feisty at the end. We are still within the early days of the season where things are starting to take shape, but there’s one player I wanted to focus on today.

Blake Wheeler was signed this summer after he was bought out by the Winnipeg Jets. The goal was for him to hopefully be reinvigorated by joining a new team in a reduced role, and to provide some tertiary scoring. With that said, what are your thoughts on Blake Wheeler so far, and what do you think about his upside?

I don’t want to start reading into anything early… but there’s a trend developing.

Blake Wheeler has appeared in 3 games with the Rangers, and thus far has 7 shots on goal an 0 points. In the season opener he skated 15:00, in Game 2 he skated 12:11, and vs. the Coyotes he played just 9:43. Artemiy Panarin was getting extra shifts in his place vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets later on in the game. Last night the Rangers did spend a lot of time killing penalties, which would explain a decrease in minutes, but he also didn’t see anytime on the 2nd PP unit either.

Wheeler is an older, but still talent, player that is on a new team with new linemates. He’s on the third line currently, and right now there’s no one on the roster that should replace him. You could maybe make an argument that has Jimmy Vesey slide into that spot while keeping Pitlick on the fourth line, but I think Wheeler’s going to get a much time as he needs to figure things out… or until Brennan Othmann absolutely forces the Rangers to promote him.

It has only been three games, and a lot can change over the next week in which the Rangers will get into a rhythm as they head on a road trip. But I am interested in what you think, and hope you have a great rest of Tuesday.