The agent for restricted free agent Bruins winger Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart, Matt Keator, said he plans to speak with Boston general manager Peter Chiarelli this weekend about both his clients, as the deadline to file for arbitration approaches 5 p.m. Monday.
Both players are eligible for arbitration.
“We’ll talk over the weekend and Monday and see where things go,” Keator told TheBruinsBlog.net.
Chiarelli said on Thursday he was confident he could re-sign Wheeler, Stuart and fellow restricted free agent Gregory Campbell and stay under the salary cap, even if it would be a “little tight.”
Should the pair file for arbitration, Chiarelli and Keator could still negotiate until the time of the hearing, which would be in late July or August. By my records, the Bruins have only gone to arbitration once (Andrew Alberts) during Chiarelli’s term. The club avoided arbitration with Matt Hunwick last summer and Dennis Wideman the year before with mulit-year deals signed before the hearing could take place.
No doubt, the name of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, another Keator client, will come up as well. Chara, entering he last year of his deal, is now eligible to sign an extension.