It hasn’t been easy for Peter Mueller since scoring 22 goals for the Coyotes as a rookie forward in 2007-08.
When his production trailed off in Phoenix, the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft was traded to Colorado in 2010. Then, after scoring nine goals in his first 15 games with the Avs, concussion problems kept him out the entire 2010-11 season and half the next.
Mueller’s latest stop was in Florida, where he scored a modest eight goals in 43 games for the Panthers in 2013. For budgetary reasons, the 25-year-old failed to receive a qualifying offer from the club, leaving him an unrestricted free agent.
“He has arbitration rights. We’re still negotiating with him,” Florida GM Dale Tallon told the Sun-Sentinel. “We’d like to keep him, but it’s just a matter of what the right number is as far as our budget is.”
The Panthers’ budget limits may prove to be another team’s opportunity. Mueller’s agent, Anton Thun, told PHT in an email today that there are “many conversations ongoing” with potential suitors.
“Assessing interest and roles with clubs,” wrote Thun, adding that Florida remains in the mix.
While there’s risk attached to any player with a serious concussion history, there’s also potential upside with Mueller, who’s still young and may have suffered from bad puck luck in 2013, as evidenced by his low 6.1 shooting percentage. No other Panther registered more shots than his 131.
Mueller is coming off a modest one-year, $1.73 million deal, so he shouldn’t break the bank either.