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):