Phoenix and Colorado trade talented headaches in Mueller-Wolski deal

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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    Wait, what? Letestu’s short-handed goal opens the scoring in Heritage Classic

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 03: Mark Letestu #55 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Oilers shutout the Flyers 4-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    With a power play in the second period, the Winnipeg Jets had a good opportunity to take the lead on home ice in the Heritage Classic.

    But instead, it was the Edmonton Oilers cashing in.

    Mark Letestu opened the scoring with a short-handed goal, beating Connor Hellebuyck on the glove side on a breakaway after Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien whiffed on the puck at the blue line.

    Letestu took advntage. That’s his second goal of the season, both coming on the penalty kill.

    The Oilers were able to further silence the crowd in Winnipeg, as Darnell Nurse, right out of the penalty box, buried a Connor McDavid pass just 1:46 after Letestu’s goal.

    Bylsma: ‘We need to get more’ out of Reinhart

    EDMONTON, AB - OCTOBER 16:  Sam Reinhart #23 of the Buffalo Sabres warms up before the game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 16, 2016 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
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    Sam Reinhart has two assists through four games this season, and Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has made a move with the hope of getting the 20-year-old forward going offensively.

    As per John Vogl of the Buffalo News on Sunday, Reinhart has been moved to the middle between Tyler Ennis and Zemgus Girgensons, while Matt Moulson was moved to the top line with Ryan O'Reilly and Kyle Okposo.

    Reinhart, a 23-goal scorer from last season, had two assists through the first two games, but has been kept off the score sheet in Buffalo’s last two contests.

    Outside of that six-goal outburst versus Edmonton last weekend, scoring has been an issue for the Sabres early in the season. So adjustments to the forward combinations is to be expected.

    “Sam needs to get a little bit more feet moving, a little bit more speed to his game,” said Bylsma, as per the Buffalo News.

    “He’s made some great plays for us early on – power play and five-on-five for the Okposo goal – but we need to get more out of Sam, moving his feet more, playing a little bit faster, a little bit quicker and providing a little bit more offense for our team.”

    The Sabres, without two key forwards in Jack Eichel and Evander Kane with long-term injuries, which would help explain the team’s early offensive issues, conclude a four-game road trip Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

    The Sabres also called up forward Hudson Fasching and defenseman Casey Nelson from Rochester in the AHL.

    P.K. Subban clearly had a blast as Titans’ 12th man

    P.K. Subban
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    When P.K. Subban shows up at your event, you expect to be entertained. And he basically always delivers.

    His trend of delighting Nashville Predators fans continued on Sunday, as he made a glorious appearance as the Tennessee Titans’ “12th Man.”

    If you close your eyes and picture a scene, you probably wouldn’t be that far off; it still doesn’t make this any less fantastic. (Even if the Titans eventually dropped a 34-26 loss to the Colts.)

    The photo he posted on his personal Twitter account was great:

    This GIF of him using a sword feels like it will get some mileage on Twitter. After totally convincing other people about your sports/political/hot-dog-being-a-sandwich opinion, and then drop the P.K. dagger:

    Was the Titans jersey not lasting for long predictable or unexpected?

    Opinion: this was the Titans game to attend since they fell a yard short of beating the Rams.

    Don’t glare: Heritage Classic start time delayed

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA - OCTOBER 22: Cam Talbot #33 of the Edmonton Oilers skates during practice in preparation for the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic alumni hockey game on October 22, 2016 at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Oilers play the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 23, 2016. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)
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    Update: Puck drop is now scheduled for 4:53 p.m. ET.


    It’s not a familiar situation for the NHL, but it has happened before: a weather delay for a hockey game.

    The Winnipeg Jets confirmed that the start time for their Heritage Classic game against the Edmonton Oilers has been delayed. The glare of the sun appears to be too much.

    At the moment, it is not yet known how severe the delay will be. Puck drop was originally scheduled for just after 3 p.m. ET.

    That’s a bummer, but at least it inspired a joke that would probably make Ilya Bryzgalov smile:

    Warm-ups were moved to 4 p.m. ET. PHT will keep you posted if there are any other changes.