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.