A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to WEEI.com Monday that Matt Keator, the agent for Bruins right wing Blake Wheeler , is already in Toronto in preparation for his client’s arbitration hearing with the team Tuesday. The source added that Wheeler will be flying in sometime Monday.
Wheeler earned $2.8 million last season with the Bruins. Following a hearing, the arbiter will award Wheeler a certain number that the Bruins can either agree to or walk away from. If the team walks away, Wheeler will be a free agent capable of signing with any team.
Should the sides head to arbitration, as is heavily expected at this point, it will be the first such occurrence since 2006, when the Bruins declined David Tanabe‘s $1.275 million award.
Wheeler, who has missed just one game in his two-year career, scored 18 goals and chipped in 20 assists for 38 points last season. His sophomore stats remain overshadowed by his rookie performance of 21-24-45 totals in ’08-’09. The Boston Globe was the first to report Keator’s whereabouts.