As I mentioned yesterday, Blake Wheeler can be a tough nut to crack in negotiations, or so it seems. The young power forward in the making had his salary arbitration case with the Boston Bruins today. The arbitration award either hasn’t been made public or flat-out hasn’t been made yet – they have 48 hours to make a ruling – but The Hub of Hockey features some takes from the hearing.
“[the hearing] Went well – not contentious at all.” Wheeler’s agent Matt Keator told TheHubofHockey.net this afternoon. “Professionally done on both sides”
Wheeler, who posted 18-20-38 totals in all 82 games this season, earned $875,000 as a base salary last season, with an added $2.05M in bonuses. Now we sit back and wait – until the arbitrator sets the one-year salary for the 23-year-old Wheeler – for the next two days (a decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing). With the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a player may never receive less than 85 percent of his previous year’s salary.
We’ve discussed how this decision could affect Tyler Seguin and there’s no doubt that the Bruins are feeling a serious salary cap crunch (as of right now, they reportedly have a hysterical $12,229 in space according to CapGeek.com).
Most players have been making last minute deals with their teams, so a list of parallels is pretty short. I keep going back to Clarke MacArthur, whose $2.4 million decision was too much for the Atlanta Thrashers to stomach.
The Bruins Blog has a comments section that asks what he’ll make “Price is Right” style, but I thought I’d throw that question out to PHT readers: how much is Blake Wheeler worth? Vote in the poll below.