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Western Conference

Jets’ Blake Wheeler: ‘Trump’s comments were ‘the last straw for a lot of guys’

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Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler discussed the hottest topic in the world of sports/politics and offered his thoughts on President Trump’s recent comments.

“Some of the language that [Trump] used referencing NFL players, I think that was the last straw for a lot of guys, whichever way they feel about it,” Wheeler told the media.

On Friday, Trump shocked many when he called for NFL owners to fire players who protest during the national anthem referring to a player that does so as a “son of a bitch”.

Trump continued his behavior over the weekend when he “took back” a White House “invitation” for the Golden State Warriors because Steph Curry said he didn’t want to go; however, the team had never received an official invitation.

Wheeler took issue with Trump.

“I think crossing over into the sports world, it hits home a little more,” Wheeler said.

“I think a lot of people, similar to my wife and I, it has been kind of a slow boil. The rhetoric over and over, he has just kind of gone a little too far too many times. It just felt right to take a stance.”

Wheeler was then asked about his position if teammates started kneeling during the anthem.

“I’m absolutely for the first amendment. I’m a big believer that that’s what makes America a special place is you’re allowed to stand up for what you believe in” Wheeler said.

“With just cause, if somebody were electing to do that, they would 100 percent have my support.

“Even if I don’t necessarily agree with why they do it it’s their right to feel that way. It’s their right to behave that way. If I didn’t agree with it, I would absolutely sit down and have a coffee and talk about it, try to understand why they feel that way, and maybe you become a little more sympathetic to different people.”

Calgary Flames

Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau Enjoying Strong Season

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The Calgary Flames have seen some strong play from forward Johnny Gaudreau, who has played well enough to earn his 5th All-Star selection.

“Obviously he deserves it,” Flames forward Michael Frolik said, according to NHL.com. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s so fast, and in those small spaces, those tight turns, he can handle the puck with speed. It’s fun to watch him and he’s been great this year.”

Flames defenseman Mark Giordana spoke highly of Gaudreau’s play.

“He can get you the puck in situations where you don’t think he can,” Giordano said. “But I think what people don’t see is just how competitive he is. The guys who are the best players in the League are [competitive] because they want the puck in key situations, and that’s how he is.

“Just look at his overtime play and stuff like that. I’m happy for the way his career is going but this year he’s taken that next step, for sure.”

“I think last year we played with Micheal Ferland, who was a little bit more of a shooter,” Gaudreau said of his strong play this season.

“Lindholm, obviously, is a shooter as well, but he can see the ice really well. He can make some pretty high-end plays, so I think I just got an opportunity to shoot a little more with a player like that on my line.”

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Arizona Coyotes

Coyotes’ Nick Schmaltz Out for Season

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The Arizona Coyotes will be without forward Nick Schmaltz for the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury, according to an official team announcement on Tuesday.

Schmaltz was off to a red hot start since being acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in November and had been out since December 30th.

Originally, it was though that he would only miss a few weeks, but now the news is much worse for the Yotes.

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News

Canucks’ Elias Pettersson Placed On Injured Reserve, Adam Gaudette Recalled

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The Vancouver Canucks got some good news in regards to the injury sustained by superstar Elias Pettersson, who was moved to the injured reserve list on Tuesday.

Pettersson got tangled up with Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperia Kotkaniemi, but did not sustain major knee damage and is expected to only miss a few weeks of action, dodging a serious injury.

In a corresponding move, Vancouver recalled Adam Gaudette from the Utica Comets.

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