January 28, 2016 3:09 pm

Winnipeg Jets’ Blake Wheeler declines All-Star Invitation

Blake Wheeler #26 and Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Jeff Curry/NHLI via Getty Images
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WINNIPEG — Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler turned down an invitation to attend this weekends NHL All-Star game. An opening became available on the Central Division roster with Jonathan Toews bowing out with an illness. Nashville Predators forward James Neal was added instead.

Wheeler, 29, was originally left off the All-Star team. He already made different plans and it was too late to change his family commitments.

After Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes we asked Wheeler what his plans were for the All-Star break.

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“No comment” Wheeler said with a smile.

RELATED: Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck the lone all-star selection for Manitoba Moose

Wheeler has 13 goals and 35 assists this season and his 48 points is good for seventh overall in the league.

Alex Ovechkin will also miss Sunday’s game after suffering a lower-body injury. Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will take his place.

Per league rules, for missing the All-Star game both Toews and Ovechkin will be suspended for the first game after the All-Star break.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Jets Dustin Byfuglien named to All-Star game, Blake Wheeler snubbed

Dustin Byfuglien will be the Jets lone representative at this years game.

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