He was offered a spot in the game, but has declined the invitation, the team shared Thursday. Wheeler says he already had plans with his family and, like many players, would vastly prefer a vacation and time with his family over a trip to Nashville to play a meaningless game.
This season, Wheeler has 13 goals and 48 points in 49 games. He’s been one of the better wingers in the league all season, particularly early on when he was unstoppable.
he has quietly been a great player this season and that is indicative of the kind of player he is generally. He gets little attention, but is the exact kind of player that most NHL coaches would die to have. Nonetheless, he’s never been voted into an All-Star Game.
While most would love to see Wheeler get a little bit of the attention he deserves for his season, it’s hard to blame him for declining the punishment of a lost vacation that was offered to him.
James Neal will join the Central Division All-Star Team in place of Toews.
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Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.