Florida Panther assistant GM Mike Santos told the Miami Herald’s George Richards that the team isn’t “actively negotiating” with forward Peter Mueller as of Monday.
That sounds like a hockey franchise’s way of saying that Mueller has a really good personality.
The team took a low-risk peek at the 25-year-old in 2013, and it’s not surprising that the Panthers aren’t over the moon for the former first-round pick (eighth overall in 2006). He scored just 17 points in 43 games, registering a -11 rating on a mess of a team.
Mueller still carries a minor “What if?” factor – he’s likely to connect on more than 6.1 percent of his shots if he gets a chance with an NHL team next season, for one thing – although his opportunities to be anything more than that are starting to fade.
Even so, a thrifty team might be wise to give him a try at a near-minimum/two-way deal.
For some, there will be comic sadness in his departure, as the Panthers boasted a formidable hair and mustache combo this past season in Mueller’s mullet and Kris Versteeg’s mustache (both via Getty):
Maybe Versteeg will combine that ‘stache with his 2011-12 hair to fill the void, though (also via Getty):
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.