Mueller doing just fine in Colorado

Mueller.jpgI have to admit, when the Phoenix Coyotes traded Peter Mueller to the Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski, I thought the Coyotes got the better end of that deal. Mueller had gained a reputation as a problem child with an attitude problem, and I questioned whether he would be able to fit into a tight and successful locker room in Denver.

Turns out, he’s doing just fine according to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.

Mueller, 21, is kiddingly called “Savior”
in the Avalanche dressing room. But he believes the Avs have rescued
him more than he has the team.

“Like I’ve said, it’s a great situation where you feel like the team
has confidence in you,” Mueller said. “It’s been a good change for me. I
just want to keep contributing and do as much as I can to help us win.”

Mueller has 15 points in 11 games with the Avs, and is two points away from equaling his total with the Coyotes before he was traded. It’s certainly case of a new environment working out perfectly for a troubled player.

I’m not certain whether Mueller will work out in the long run, but it’s great to see a young player with great potential finally find success. I can’t agree with whining your way off a team just because you couldn’t make it work, but the move was beneficial for both teams so it’s just water under the bridge at this point.

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    Game-deciding goals Domingue allowed to Rangers and Isles were ‘stoppable,’ says Tippett

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: Louis Domingue #35 of the Arizona Coyotes takes a break during the second period against the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on October 21, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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    We’ve written quite a bit on Arizona’s franchise-worst start to the season, in which they’ve lost five straight games.

    But according to head coach Dave Tippett, the Coyotes probably shouldn’t be mired in a winless streak.

    “Louis [Domingue] is a little like our team,” Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “He’s had stretches where he made some good saves but at the end of the day, the two winning goals — the Islanders and New York [Rangers] — were both stoppable goals.”

    Here’s the Isles goal Tippett was referring to, a shorthanded marker by Johnny Boychuk:

    And here’s the Rangers goal, scored by Dan Girardi (FF to 1:45)

    Both, you’ll notice, have some similarities — long-range shots, third-period markers, scored by defensemen (and their first goals of the season, coincidentally).

    The Domingue storyline has become a compelling one in the desert. Signed to a two-year extension this summer, the 24-year-old was expected to “take that next step” in his progression this season.

    “He’s been solid,” GM John Chayka said of Domingue. “It looked like he had a good summer and came in in good shape.

    “Louis’ got the talent to do it. It’s now doing it.”

    The Coyotes are in Philly tonight to close out their six-game roadie, and Domingue will get the start. He’ll look to improve on his dreadful numbers — 5.03 GAA, .851 save percentage — and hopefully backstop his club to just its second win of the season.

    After reportedly trying to trade him, Rangers put McIlrath on waivers

    NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25:  Dylan McIlrath #6 of the New York Rangers takes the puck as Matt Moulson #26 of the Buffalo Sabres defends at Madison Square Garden on January 25, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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    The New York Rangers are rolling the dice that Dylan McIlrath won’t get claimed. They’ve put the 24-year-old defenseman on waivers, not long after reportedly trying to trade him.

    McIlrath was the 10th overall draft pick in 2010, a selection that many felt was a reach by the Rangers. Six years later, he’s yet to establish himself as a regular in head coach Alain Vigneault’s lineup.

    The big blue-liner has appeared in just one game this season, and he only logged 9:14 in it. Vigneault seems to have chosen offseason trade acquisition Nick Holden over McIlrath.

    Despite the Rangers’ inability to trade him, it would not be a huge surprise if McIlrath gets claimed. His possession stats were solid last season, and defensemen with size and toughness are still coveted in today’s faster NHL.

    McIlrath’s cap hit is $800,000. He can become a restricted free agent this summer.

    Blues put Paajarvi on waivers

    Magnus Paajarvi
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    The return of Jori Lehtera was a welcome development in St. Louis — well, welcome for everybody but Magnus Paajarvi.

    With the Blues needing to clear a roster spot for Lehtera, Paajarvi was placed on waivers on Thursday, per Sportsnet.

    The decision comes after Paajarvi appeared in three games for St. Louis this season, scoring once while averaging just over nine minutes per game.

    He has not dressed since an OT loss in Vancouver back on Oct. 18, though, as the team has recently opted to play Dmitrij Jaskin up front.

    (Ty Rattie, who’s also been out of the lineup since the Vancouver game, is apparently sticking around St. Louis for the time being.)

    Paajarvi has been down the waiver road before, getting exposed by the Blues on a few occasions. Even though he’s still relatively young (25 years old), on a cap-friendly contract ($700,000) and has nearly 300 games of NHL experience, it’s hard to envision a scenario where he gets claimed — especially since teams have had the opportunity to snag him before, and passed.

    Not long after news of the Paajarvi waiving broke, the Blues announced Lehtera was officially activated from IR. He’ll be available for selection tonight when St. Louis hosts the streaking Red Wings, who’ve won five straight.

    A group wants to build an arena in Scottsdale, but the Coyotes don’t seem interested

    GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 09:  Fans line up outside of Gila River Arena before the NHL game between the Arizona Coyotes and the Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Jets defeated the Coyotes 6-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    The Arizona Coyotes still don’t have a place to play next season, and based on a report, they don’t seem very interested in working with a group that wants to build a new arena in Scottsdale.

    From Arizona Sports:

    Multiple sources said the developer group working with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community had a meeting scheduled with the Coyotes the day after the team’s Faceoff Luncheon and the day before the season opener on Oct. 15 to discuss the possibility of the Coyotes playing there, but the Coyotes cancelled the meeting at the last minute for unspecified reasons. No make-up date has been scheduled.

    When reached Wednesday evening, Coyotes president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc had this to say: “Throughout this process we have had a number of groups solicit our involvement. This particular group and site are not one with which the Coyotes are working.”

    Why the Coyotes don’t have interest in this particular project isn’t clear. It may be they’re 100 percent focused on another site, or it may be the deal just isn’t right for them.

    But they’ll need to figure something out soon. Their lease at Gila River Arena expires after this season, and while they could probably extend that for a few years while a new arena gets built, they’ve been adamant that they’ll be leaving Glendale as soon as possible.

    Certainly, this week’s news out of Seattle won’t quell the speculation that the Coyotes could be on the move, even if ownership has insisted over and over that the team has a bright future in the desert.