|08.03.10 at 5:42 pm ET|
The Bruins officially announced the signing of rookie forward Tyler Seguin, the second overall pick in this year’s NHL draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday. The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed in accordance with team policy, but it is believed that the deal is similar to the one first-overall pick Taylor Hall received from Edmonton, which calls for a base salary of around $900,000 with performance escalators that could make the deal worth as much as $3.75 million yearly.
‘He’s obviously a high pick, and he performed well in our development camp,’ Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call. ‘We thought it was time to sign him to give him piece of mind and make him feel part of the organization.’
The Bruins hope that Seguin’s debut season can help erase the memory of last year’s dismal finish and create some excitement again on Causeway Street. The 18-year-old’s line of 48 goals and 58 assists in the Ontario Hockey League along with his YouTube-worthy highlights already have many B’s fans buzzing about his arrival. His performance in his first time in black and gold at Bruins prospect development camp in July only added to the excitement.
‘If I’m a fan and I see a young player like this that is an exciting, young player and people saw him at development camp, I’d be excited about seeing him play,’ Chiarelli said.
Seguin did most of his damage in the OHL as a center, but Chiarelli did not commit to saying that he will hold a similar position should he make the squad out of training camp. With veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Marc Savard and the newly acquired Greg Campbell already on the roster, there doesn’t appear to be any room for the young forward at that position this season. He will most likely make his debut at one of the eight winger spots, but Chiarelli was willing to keep the options open.
‘You never know. I’ve had discussions with Claude [Julien] about mixing and matching and shifting some positions around so I can’t tell you with complete certainty where he’ll play,’ Chiarelli said.
With Seguin’s signing now official, that gives the B’s a total of 14 forwards on the roster including Marco Sturm, who will open the season on the long-term disabled list after suffering a major knee injury in the playoffs. That’s two more than they’ll need come opening day, but their options are still open according to Chiarelli.
‘It’s a roster that I’m very happy with now,’ Chiarelli said. ‘There are some spots for young players to earn spots. You’re never done with your roster. I can’t say we’re definitively done with it. There are always things that crop up. We just saw a Stanley Cup-winning goalie become available on the free market so things happen. Things crop up so it’s never done until the opening-day roster’s filed.’
|08.03.10 at 12:17 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Bruins have agreed to an entry-level contract with Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NHL draft. The deal is believed to be similar to the contract top pick Taylor Hall signed with the Oilers last month ‘ a base salary of $900,000 with bonuses that could make it worth $3.75 million annually. An official announcement is expected this week.
|07.30.10 at 12:19 pm ET|
Blake Wheeler has had his plate full this offseason. The 23-year-old recently got married and said he was operating on just three hours of sleep in the days leading up to Tuesday’s arbitration hearing with the Bruins. After he was awarded a salary of $2.2 million for the 2010-11 season, the Bruins on Friday agreed to the terms, meaning he will be in the fold for the coming season.
Despite how hectic things may have been in planning a wedding and trying to figure out whether he would be back with the team he played his first two seasons for, a considerable amount of time in Wheeler’s offseason has gone into becoming the player he and many others feel he can be.
“I think for me it’s all about — especially on the forecheck — being more physical, more of a presence. I think I’ve gotten so focused on the offensive production and the numbers side of things, especially last year, where I think there’s definitely more ways to be a contributing factor out on the ice,” Wheeler said Friday. “It’s just all about understanding your areas of strengths and your areas of weakness. I think if I can just assert myself more physically , especially on the forecheck and things of that nature, it’s going to create a lot more opportunities for myself and the guys I’m playing with to get more offensive opportunities. Sometimes it’s about less is more, and when you kind of take a step back from things, it’s a little bit easier to notice where you may be able to improve on things.”
Wheeler has fallen under criticism for not being physical enough for a forward of 6-foot-3 stature. However, as he works at being more aggressive on the forecheck, there are plenty of positives in his game. He scored 20 and 18 goals in his first two seasons, respectively, and his potential seems to be far from maxed out.
Despite having a respectable 83 points for someone entering their third season in the NHL, Wheeler is also hoping to show up more on the scoring sheet next season. As a result, he’s made a big part of his offseason revolve around shooting. In fact, Wheeler is so eager to become a better scorer that he’s made it so he can work from home.
“I think pretty much doing the exact same thing I did last summer. I came into camp probably in the best shape I’ve ever been in physically, mentally, all the above. My training’s pretty much the same as it was last year. The thing I’m really focusing on is shooting pucks. I’ve been working on my shot quite a bit this summer, trying to do whatever it takes to extend my range a little bit,” Wheeler said. “I set up a shooting tarp in my garage. Whenever there’s nothing to do [I] just go out there and pump some pucks at the tarp, so I guess that’s the only real difference, trying to work on the shot and things like that.”
As Wheeler takes shot after shot in his garage in Minnesota, what does he look to accomplish?
“Getting comfortable shooting from farther away from the net. Any time you can put a shot on net from really anywhere — you know, top of the circle and in, it’s going to be a pretty good look — so I think just getting that mentality and getting comfortable letting the puck go like that, is something that could really help me,” Wheeler said. “I’ve obviously probably been more of a passer in my first two years and I think I’d like to close the gap a little bit and start shooting a little bit more, so working on that definitely will help.”
The Bruins and Wheeler’s camp each drove a hard bargain, but should they get their resources in order, $2.2 million for someone intent on addressing their weaknesses could be a pretty good deal.
|07.30.10 at 11:40 am ET|
With Friday’s announcement that the Bruins have agreed to a salary awarded in arbitration for the first time since Peter Chiarelli took over as general manager, it became official that right wing Blake Wheeler would be back in Boston for the 2010-2011 season. The 23-year-old Wheeler told members of the media Friday that it’s exactly where he wants to be.
“It never crossed my mind, being with another team,” Wheeler said. “I think that would be a pretty big surprise for me, but throughout the whole process, even if that was an option, I definitely wanted to be in Boston. Not only because our group of guys is so good and we’ve had such a good locker room over the last couple of years and such great team chemistry. I think we’re right on the cusp of getting to where we want to go. I think every guy in our room can feel that.”
Arbitration is something that both sides generally like to avoid at all costs. A process in which a team basically has to tell a player he isn’t as good he thinks he is can be rather difficult. Wheeler came away from the whole process pleased, however, with how both his camp and the Bruins were able to handle the hearing.
“Before the hearing, I was anxious, obviously. You hear all the horror stories of all the different things that go on in those rooms, but once I was in there and having both sides being argued, it was handled extremely professionally,” Wheeler said. “There was nothing said in that room that I didn’t already know myself. There were no low blows or anything like that taken on either side. ”
Now that Wheeler is back on a one-year $2.2 million deal, he looks forward to getting back into the swing of things and making up for a disappointing Game 7 loss to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“Last year was certainly heartbreaking in the sense that we were one win away for four games to going to the net ground and advancing our hopes of obviously winning the Stanley Cup,” Wheeler said. “There’s been a lot of excitement in the moves that have been made.”
|07.30.10 at 10:21 am ET|
After having to wait extra long to find out what his 2010-2011 salary would be Thursday, Bruins right wing Blake Wheeler‘s $2.2 award was agreed to Friday morning by the Bruins.
‘It is never a pleasant experience for either side to go to arbitration,’ Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said. ‘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.’
In Wheeler the Bruins retain a young forward who has averaged just under 20 goals in his first two NHL seasons. The 6-foot-3 winger scored 18 goals and 20 assists for 38 points last season.
|07.29.10 at 8:40 pm ET|
The wait for Bruins right winger Blake Wheeler is finally over. A source has confirmed to WEEI.com that Wheeler received a $2.2 million award in arbitration Thursday night. The Boston Globe was the first to report the story.
The 23-year-old forward and the Bruins were expected to be made aware of the award by award by noon on Thursday, but the arbiter had her hands full with Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi’s hearing and delayed the decision.
“The decision came in the range we expected. There were no winners or losers in this case,” Wheeler’s agent, Matt Keator, told WEEI.com. “Blake is excited for camp and ready to go.”
The Bruins now have 48 hours to sign Wheeler to the $2.2 million, which Keator assumes the team will do. Should the Bruins agree to the awarded salary, they will retain Wheeler for the upcoming season, after which he will become a free agent. Keeping him would open a second buyout window, which could help them clear some room against the salary cap. Should the Bruins walk away from the ruling, Wheeler will become a free agent and they will get nothing in return for him.
The Bruins also made minor news on Thursday, inking Yale defenseman Ryan Donald to a two-year contract to play in Providence.
|07.29.10 at 3:43 pm ET|
A source confirmed to WEEI.com that Bruins right winger Blake Wheeler has yet to receive his award in his arbitration case because the arbiter was tied up with Annti Niemi’s hearing with the Blackhawks. The source indicated that the delay could last until Friday but remained hopeful of receiving word. Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe was the first to report the delay.
Word on Wheeler’s award was supposed to come down by noon on Thursday, as it is required to be given within 48 hours of the initial hearing. The Bruins and Wheeler met Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to noon.