Skip to content

How Blake Wheeler's arbitration could effect Tyler Seguin's immediate future

Jul 26, 2010, 10:27 PM EST

seguinchiarelli.jpgWe talked a bit about the Bruins’ potential arbitration case with forward Blake Wheeler earlier today. What happens there, should he not sign before his hearing tomorrow in Toronto, will affect the Bruins immensely as far as their salary cap is concerned. While the Bruins certainly have many things to consider when it comes time to trim things down, one other area they’ll be concerned with is how the situation will effect matters with 2010 first round pick Tyler Seguin.

Seguin, if he’s to play with the Bruins next season, will likely sign an entry-level deal with the Bruins worth around $3.25 million a year. That’s not a number I picked out of the air, it’s the going rate for #2 overall picks in the draft. There’s no doubt that that salary coupled with what Blake Wheeler’s possible reward in arbitration will be will put the Bruins over the cap. Ahh, but there are always solutions and one of them is one that Bruins fans seeking immediate satisfaction on Seguin may not want to hear about. Neate Sager of Yahoo’s junior hockey blog Buzzing The Net says that things might not turn out so bad if Seguin isn’t squeezed into the Bruins lineup this year.

Much greater hockey minds seem divided on whether Seguin is ready now or could buy some time by remaining in a developmental league.

Point being, there is a win-win-win on the horizon. In Major League Baseball, teams and the media always talk about players’ controllable years and their free-agency clock. Having Seguin play in Plymouth keeps the clock rolling through a little more of what should be his NHL prime. He might have little left to prove in the Ontario Hockey League after beating out Taylor Hall for MVP honours, but that’s not really the question.

Mind you, this exact possibility for the Bruins to be able to have Seguin go back to Plymouth is something that they should be OK with doing. The Bruins are/were a playoff team, they’re a team with a lot of depth at center, they’re a team that’s pressed up against the cap. They’re a team with a lot of ugly money coming off the cap next season. Is there any harm at all in being patient while they’ve got the opportunity? No way.

As Sager notes, Seguin might not have much else to prove in the OHL but the Bruins have the option of having him return there if they so choose. The question for the Bruins then becomes: Are they better off with Seguin in the lineup regardless of whether he plays center or wing or can they wing it this season with what they’ve got having added Nathan Horton up front? I can say that I’m glad I’m not Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and have to make these decisions.

Of course, the Bruins can always just send someone packing somehow and make the room for Seguin but trading guys is a bit tricky, especially in a market where finding buyers willing to take overpriced spare parts is awfully difficult.

  1. Jeff - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:30 PM

    I believe that should be $3.25 million total over the 3 years.
    The entry level rookie cap is something around $1 million per year for the players first 3 years.

  2. Josh - Jul 27, 2010 at 1:45 AM

    With bonuses the max entry level deal is $3.25 per year. That’s what Hall got. $900k is the highest base salary. Bonuses are based on reaching performance benchmarks like scoring a certain amount of goals, winning the calder, and a variety of other stats.

  3. Joe Yerdon - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    Correct.
    The base salary is pretty minimal, but the bonuses pay out large and still count against the cap. A comparable person to look at is fellow #2 overall pick from 2008 Drew Doughty. His base salary is $875,000 but with bonuses, his cap hit is for $3.475 million per year.

  4. Bob - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Nice article to create a little fun discussion but Seguin will be in the lineup for Boston on opening night. The Bruins have plenty of time before they need to worry about Cap issues – They have 3.5 million in releif (Marco Sturm injury) and when/if he’s ready to return look for the Bruins to demote/trade Ryder’s 4 million.

  5. Bob - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    Nice article to create a little fun discussion but Seguin will be in the lineup for Boston on opening night. There is more than enough $$$ room for Seguin
    The Bruins have plenty of time before they need to worry about Cap issues – They have 3.5 million in releif (Marco Sturm injury) and when/if he’s ready to return (late Nov. the earliest). More likely that they try and trade or demote Michael Ryder in Nov/Dec to free up room.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Perry (2787)
  2. B. Bishop (2728)
  3. B. Elliott (2205)
  4. S. Weiss (1968)
  5. S. Crosby (1771)
  1. J. Halak (1766)
  2. S. Varlamov (1745)
  3. J. Schwartz (1736)
  4. N. Kronwall (1641)
  5. J. Howard (1626)