Friday, July 23, 2010

Place Your Bets: Blake Wheeler's Arbitration is coming up on 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 and Jannik Hansen.

Clarke Macarthur

Previous salary (per capgeek): 1.4m

Award: 2.4 Million (not accepted)

Stats: (from



2006-0721Buffalo SabresNHL193474430001618.81698:54
2007-0822Buffalo SabresNHL37871532080015115.753914:34
2008-0923Buffalo SabresNHL71171431-4561250010815.798213:50
2009-10242 TeamsNHL81161935-16491141312912.4119014:42
2009-1024Buffalo SabresNHL60131326-1447103039913.186214:22
2009-1024Atlanta ThrashersNHL21369-2211103010.032815:37
Career4 SeasonsNHL208444488-131293491430414.5288013:51

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

2007-0821Vancouver CanucksNHL500002000030.05811:34
2008-0922Vancouver CanucksNHL55615215376001649.468812:31
2009-1023Vancouver CanucksNHL479615-51880136713.458012:20
Career3 SeasonsNHL1071521360571401413411.2132612:24

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

2008-0922Boston BruinsNHL8121244536461632315014.0110913:41
2009-1023Boston BruinsNHL82182038-4531431215911.3129515:47
Career2 SeasonsNHL16339448332993063530912.6240414:45

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?

Good luck, everyone.

(this was originally posted as a fanpost on