Blake Wheeler awarded $2.2 million in arbitration

The decision in Blake Wheeler's salary arbitration case with the Bruins was announced this evening with the arbiter awarding Wheeler $2.2 million for next season. The Bruins have 48 hours to exercise their right to walk away from the award, but the speculation is that the Bruins will sign the young winger to the one-year extension. The B's also have 48 hours to buy-out any player currently under contract.

The ruling was expected to come down earlier in the day, but the arbiter who was preceding over Wheeler's hearing was also assigned to hear Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi's arbitration hearing. Niemi's hearing lasted longer than expected, which pushed back the ruling in Wheeler's hearing.

The Bruins have to be happy with the $2.2 million decision considering that most speculated that Wheeler's award would be in the $2.5 million range.

Wheeler's agent, Matt Keator thought they ruling was fair and expressed that his client is looking forward to the upcoming season, saying "[The] decision came in [the] range we expected. There were no winners or losers in this case. Blake is excited for camp and ready to go." (Keator's Quote via Joe Haggerty of CSNNE)

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