FanPost

Place your Bets: Blake Wheeler's Arbitration is July 27th

Okay, folks.  There's not much happening with the Bruins lately but we've started to get the early returns for arbitration come in.  So far there have been 2 cases that have come back: Clarke Macarthur, Jannik Hansen.

Clarke Macarthur

Previous salary (per capgeek): 1.4m

Award: 2.4 Million (not accepted)

Stats: (from Hockey-Reference.com)

Season

Age

Team Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
2006-07 21 Buffalo Sabres NHL 19 3 4 7 4 4 3 0 0 0 16 18.8 169 8:54
2007-08 22 Buffalo Sabres NHL 37 8 7 15 3 20 8 0 0 1 51 15.7 539 14:34
2008-09 23 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 17 14 31 -4 56 12 5 0 0 108 15.7 982 13:50
2009-10 24 2 Teams NHL 81 16 19 35 -16 49 11 4 1 3 129 12.4 1190 14:42
2009-10 24 Buffalo Sabres NHL 60 13 13 26 -14 47 10 3 0 3 99 13.1 862 14:22
2009-10 24 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 21 3 6 9 -2 2 1 1 1 0 30 10.0 328 15:37
Career 4 Seasons NHL 208 44 44 88 -13 129 34 9 1 4 304 14.5 2880 13:51

Clarke Macarthur took his time coming into the NHL, similar to Wheeler.  However, he spent time in the AHL and didn't really play a full season until 08-09.  His 2 seasons of 31 and 35 are a bit less than Wheelers'. Uh oh.

Jannik Hansen

Previous salary (per capgeek): 550k

Award: 825k (accepted)

Stats (from Hockey-Reference.com)

Season Age Team Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
2007-08 21 Vancouver Canucks NHL 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 0.0 58 11:34
2008-09 22 Vancouver Canucks NHL 55 6 15 21 5 37 6 0 0 1 64 9.4 688 12:31
2009-10 23 Vancouver Canucks NHL 47 9 6 15 -5 18 8 0 1 3 67 13.4 580 12:20
Career 3 Seasons NHL 107 15 21 36 0 57 14 0 1 4 134 11.2 1326 12:24

Jannik Hansen seems to be a third-liner for the Canucks, was making league minimum, and now is making slightly less than league minimum.

 

Blake Wheeler

Previous salary (per capgeek): $875k salary plus 2.05m performance bonuses = 2.825m cap hit.

Award: Your guess here!

Stats (from Hockey-Reference.com)

Season Age Team Lg GP G A PTS +/- PIM EV PP SH GW S S% TOI ATOI
2008-09 22 Boston Bruins NHL 81 21 24 45 36 46 16 3 2 3 150 14.0 1109 13:41
2009-10 23 Boston Bruins NHL 82 18 20 38 -4 53 14 3 1 2 159 11.3 1295 15:47
Career 2 Seasons NHL 163 39 44 83 32 99 30 6 3 5 309 12.6 2404 14:45

Look at that odd PIM total.  Remember when he dropped the purse with Ryan O'Byrne?

Blake's hearing is July 27th and if the Bruins don't sign him I wouldn't be too surprised to see him walk.  If he does, he's definitely getting picked up by someone else.  I know some people on here hate him for not being a superstar in his sophomore year but personally I think he's got promise.

If you're not familiar with the process, you basically find comparable RFA players that have signed contracts and use them as evidence for how much the player should make.  Here's what I wrote about Greg Campbell when he filed for arbitration in a comment on this story:

So looking for a comparable, I (of course) went to Hockey-reference and cut it down to this group by ppg, PIMs, Games played (after removing anyone whose time there was pre-lockout)

1 Stephane Veilleux 2003-2010 – ended up signing a one-year/$737,500 contract with the Wild of 08-09 to avoid salary arbitration.
4 Gregory Campbell 2004-2010 – the man of the hour
5 Brian Sutherby 2003-2009 – signed a one-year/$700,000 contract with the Ducks in 2008 as an RFA.
6 Jordin Tootoo 2004-2010 – might be a better player than Campbell, got a two-year, $600,000 AAV contract back in 2006 as an RFA
7 Matt Bradley 2001-2007 – might be too out of date to matter, and apparently signed a UFA contract before he signed as a RFA one year later, and I can’t find any numerical data. Making 1 million a year now.

(AAV stands for Average Annual Value, aka Cap Hit)

So I’m hopeful he’s not going to go over 800,000.

Greg Campbell later signed a deal for 1.1m AAV/2 years.

I tried to track down my comment about Wheeler's comparables but then I remember only finding one or two.

So, what do you think?  Who's a good RFA comparable to Wheeler and how much do you think he'll get in arbitration?

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