Matt Hunwick's arbitration hearing is scheduled to take place on Friday in Toronto if he is unable to come to an agreement this week. If the sides advance to a hearing, perhaps the most accurate comparable for Hunwick is Pittsburgh's Alex Goligoski. On June 17, Goligoski signed a three-year extension with a $1.833 million annual cap hit.
Hunwick is 24 years old. Goligoski will turn 24 next Thursday. Both are former collegians (Hunwick played at Michigan, Goligoski at Minnesota). Both are mobile, puck-moving defensemen. Goligoski was selected in the second round of the 2004 draft. Hunwick was picked in the seventh round that year.
Goligoski in 2008-09: 6-14--20, 18:18 average TOI, 45 games played
Hunwick in 2008-09: 6-21--27, 16:59 average TOI, 53 games played
ANALYSIS: While Hunwick's numbers are slightly better than Goligoski's (0.51 points per game versus 0.44 PPG), two things will work against the Bruin: ice time and healthy scratches. Based on TOI per game, Hunwick slotted in as the team's No. 5 defenseman. Hunwick was a healthy scratch for 23 games last season. If the sides go to arbitration, Hunwick should receive a one- or two-year contract with an average annual salary similar to Goligoski's.