MONTREAL — Blake Wheeler has spent most of his first two NHL seasons on the left wing. Tonight, Wheeler will get some shifts at center, a position he played in college at the University of Minnesota.
“He’s a guy who’s played center his whole career until he came to us, and we put him on the wing,” coach Claude Julien said. “Right now, with [Marc Savard] not with us right away, I wouldn’t mind seeing the different options. We want Tyler [Seguin] to have that opportunity. But here’s another guy in Wheels who’s played center before. We’re going to look at different options. Joe Colborne is another guy who’s having a good camp. So we’re going to really look at those options. Hopefully they’ll help us make some decisions.”
Julien noted Wheeler’s size and hands as two characteristics in his favor as a center.
“Maybe in the middle, it will give him a little bit more room,” Julien said. “We’ll see. This is a great time to be trying those things. In exhibition games, you’ve got to experiment sometimes.”