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Phoenix and Colorado trade talented headaches in Mueller-Wolski deal

Mar 3, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

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Phoenix Coyotes exchanged frustrating forward Peter Mueller (along with prospect Kevin Porter) to the Colorado Avalanche for the productive but often-critiqued Wojtek Wolski. The NHL doesn’t often see two high-level young players change teams very often, but that is exactly what happened in this trade.

Mueller might be the bigger name (and not just for Ben Stein jokes) since he was the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft and occasionally shows a dazzling amount of skill. Much like another underwhelming (but highly touted) Coyotes forward Kyle Turris, Mueller’s output has been disappointing since his solid rookie season. In his first three seasons, Mueller’s numbers have plummeted from 54 to 34 to 17 points this year.

Wolski could ultimately be the true “prize” of this trade, though. He’s steadily produced between 40 and 50 points per year since his sophomore campaign and is projected to hit a career-high 62 points this season. That being said, Wolski brings his own problems to the table.

Adrian Dater wrote about the possibility of Wolski being traded today and shared this negative story:


“His play was just awful Monday night, and the Avs’ coaches weren’t happy about it.

I didn’t report this last night, because I don’t like to write a lot about what goes on in hallways right after games and feel like a snoop or a snitch. But I think it’s fair of me to say that Wolski walked out of the Pepsi Center last night looking mighty surly, not in the usual way of a player who just lost a game in the regular season, but of a guy who looked upset at more than that.

We’ve all seen Wolski get into the coach’s doghouse before, going back to Joel Quenneville and Tony Granato, and I think we might have seen it again Monday night with Joe Sacco. Nobody was happy at all with his play, and haven’t for a little while now.”
So, ultimately, it’s the exchange of a fairly productive but limited player who perplexes many (Wolski) for a guy whose “upside” tantalizes but whose results are less than impressive (Mueller). The Avalanche also received prospect Kevin Porter who is considered a fairly solid prospect himself. This season he’s produced 15 goals and 40 points for the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL.

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