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Wheeler files for arbitration

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  July 5, 2010 04:52 PM

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Blake Wheeler has filed for arbitration. The restricted free agent is coming out his two-year entry-level deal and seeking his second contract.

"We're going to work hard to get something done," said Matt Keator, Wheeler's agent. "We haven't gotten too far along with discussions about Blake. They've had the draft and free agency. I think [GM Peter Chiarelli's] been busy with that. Now his focus will shift more to this kind of contract."

Wheeler scored 18 goals and 20 assists in 82 games in 2009-10 while averaging 15:47 of ice time per appearance. Wheeler projects to be one of the top two left wings in 2010-11.

Keator, who also represents Mark Stuart, said the defenseman did not file for arbitration. Keator said the Bruins are close to signing Stuart to a one-year extension. Stuart would become an unrestricted free agent after 2010-11.

"We're close enough that I felt we didn't need to get to arbitration," Keator said.

The deadline to file for arbitration was today at 5 p.m. Last summer, Matt Hunwick was the only Bruin to file for arbitration. The sides agreed to a two-year extension prior to Hunwick's hearing.

Even if Wheeler signs an extension prior to his hearing, his filing today will open up a second buyout window for the Bruins later this summer. The Bruins did not exercise any buyouts in the first window. Chiarelli has said he will not be involved in any buyouts.

The Bruins bought out Glen Murray's contract in 2008 during the second window after Dennis Wideman filed for arbitration.

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