Florida isn’t in talks with Peter Mueller

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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):

source: Getty Images

 

source: Getty ImagesMaybe Versteeg will combine that ‘stache with his 2011-12 hair to fill the void, though (also via Getty):

source: Getty Images