BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has accepted the salary arbiter's award and signed forward Blake Wheeler to a one-year contract. Wheeler will be available on a conference call today, Friday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
"It is never a pleasant experience for either side to go to arbitration," said Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. "However, as a manager, you know that the player will be under contract for the following year either way. We talked to Blake before and after the hearing and we are satisfied to have a good, young player under contract for another year."
The 23-year-old Wheeler is a veteran of 163 NHL regular season games and has compiled 39 goals, 44 assists for 83 points and 99 penalty minutes in those contests. He has also skated in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff games, registering 1-5=6 totals in the postseason.
Last season, Wheeler was one of two Bruins, the other being Michael Ryder, who played in all 82 games for Boston. In those games, Wheeler notched 18-20=38 totals, which was good for fifth on the team in points while registering 53 penalty minutes. He had seven multiple-point games and tied his career-high for points in a game with a 2-1=3 effort coming on January 5 at Ottawa. In the 2010 postseason he played in 13 games totaling 1-5=6 points. Wheeler has two career multiple-point playoff games, both two-point efforts.
Wheeler played in his 100th NHL and Bruins game on November 1, 2009 in Pittsburgh. He took his first career fighting major penalty on February 7, 2010 in Montreal (vs. Ryan O'Byrne).
The 6'5", 208-pound native of Robbinsdale, Minnesota was originally selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round (5th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Wheeler signed with the Bruins as a free agent on July 1, 2008.