Jul 11, 2012, 9:46 PM EDT
Considering how shallow (and risk-heavy) the NHL free agent market is, Peter Mueller struck me as one of the most interesting gambles of all the unrestricted guys below the “obvious star” level. Renaud P. Lavoie reports that the Florida Panthers decided to roll the dice with the promising-but-concussion-plagued winger, handing him a one-year contract worth $1.725 million.
GM Dale Tallon hit the jackpot with one of his injury risks last summer as Tomas Fleischmann set career-highs with 27 goals and 61 points. Naturally, concussion and blood clot issues aren’t the same thing, yet the Panthers aren’t making anywhere near the investment in term or dollars for Mueller.
As of this moment, Mueller’s salary would make him the sixth-highest paid forward, which probably makes sense since the Panthers probably envision him – ideally – as a top-six guy.
Still, there is some risk involved. Mueller’s concussion issues limited him to 32 games last season and wiped out his 2010-11 campaign completely. Wasted money would still be wasted money if he can’t play a game.
Even so, Mueller’s potential is tantalizing. He was the eighth overall pick of the 2006 draft and while his foot speed is lacking, he has nice size and a useful right-handed shot. If he can be reasonably healthy, he could provide Florida with some of the depth offense they needed last season. (The team struggled to score beyond the big first line that usually featured Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss and Kris Versteeg.)
Speaking of Versteeg, re-signing him likely remains the highest priority on Florida’s off-season to-do list. Unless you count trading for Roberto Luongo, that is.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:54 AM EDT
“Corey has been great for us all year, all playoffs.”
Jun 20, 2013, 12:44 AM EDT
It boils down to mistakes of all kinds.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:41 AM EDT
What a difference one goal makes.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:37 AM EDT
He played less than three minutes in Game 4.
Jun 20, 2013, 12:25 AM EDT
“If he sees the puck, he’s going to be almost impossible to beat.”
Jun 19, 2013, 11:54 PM EDT
His middle name isn’t “Game Over.” We checked.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:40 PM EDT
It’s now 2-2 after an exciting 6-5 thriller.
Jun 19, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT
The Bruins won’t give up.
Jun 19, 2013, 10:19 PM EDT
… And there were plenty of other close calls.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:22 PM EDT
Vancouver Canucks would appreciate the cap space.
Jun 19, 2013, 9:06 PM EDT
Michal Handzus scores first, Rich Peverley ties it.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:33 PM EDT
The money part has been settled, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Jun 19, 2013, 8:14 PM EDT
In case you were worrying about another late scratch.
Jun 19, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT
The Swede wasn’t getting benched during playoff games, for one.
Jun 19, 2013, 6:21 PM EDT
Tough timing for free agent Mason Raymond.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
37-year-old ‘tender ready to call it a career.
Jun 19, 2013, 5:19 PM EDT
That’s a picture of Mike Komisarek.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT
Pittsburgh’s Dan Bylsma considered to be a favorite for the position.
Jun 19, 2013, 4:44 PM EDT
Which could be why they end up swapping coaches.
Jun 19, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT
The players’ union and Board of Governors will vote near the end of the exhibition campaign.
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