Mueller spent last season with the Kloten Flyers of the Swiss-A League, notching 46 points in 49 games, good for second in the league in scoring. (Matthew Lombardi, who led the League, earned a 2-year contract with the New York Rangers earlier this summer.)
His journey in the NHL has been fraught with frustration.
He was a No. 8 overall pick for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2006, scoring 54 points in 81 games in his rookie season and then never hitting that total again.
He was traded with Kevin Porter to Colorado Avalanche for Wojtek Wolski in 2010, and then entered concussion hell. A hit by Rob Blake concussed him late in the season, and then he had another one in the following preseason. Post-concussion syndrome plagued him during his last season with the Avs. and they chose not to re-sign him.
Mueller bounced to the NHL’s Island of Misfit Toys, a.k.a. the Florida Panthers, before the lockout and had 17 points in 43 games before heading overseas last season.
So the good news is that Mueller has been healthy for the last two seasons, although neither are the 82-game grind of a full NHL regular-season. Thus, the Blues are taking a worthy gamble, especially on a two-year contract.
If Mueller latches on, he’s an improvement on their bottom six, which is lean and mean but not laden with proven offensive talent outside of Patrik Berglund. This move also means that Magnus Paajarvi is going to have some competition in camp for an offensive role on the team’s third line. Assuming, of course, he makes it through camp without a trade.
Nice signing for the Blues, a nice reclamation project for Ken Hitchcock and a nice landing spot for Mueller in his return to the League.
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- Peter Mueller