In what has been a quiet offseason for the Florida Panthers so far, we finally saw some action with the signing of Peter Mueller on Wednesday. Mueller agreed to a one-year deal, worth $1.725 million.
Mueller is the kind of guy that has always had great potential, but has been hampered by injuries, particularly concussions, over the course of his career. He’s flashed some major skill with the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche, but was denied a qualifying offer by Colorado this summer and became an unrestricted free agent.
Given his injury history, you knew Mueller wasn’t going to get any sort of long term deal. He was going to get a one-year contract from a club willing to take a shot and help him realize his potential, if he can stay healthy, and that is exactly what happened with this deal.
The Panthers are hoping to buy low on Mueller, in hopes that he can recapture some of that play we saw from him in his rookie year, when he posted 54 points for the Coyotes. If it pans out and he stays healthy, this could end up being a steal of a deal for the Cats and they could have the first crack at locking him up long term. That’s why the one-year deal made so much sense for any team.
Mueller will likely slot in at center, given the Panthers’ lack of depth in the middle, but we could see him bounce back and forth a bit as the season wears on.
After the incredible roster turnover of last summer that resulted in a playoff berth, this is another very good signing by Dale Tallon. He gets a top six talent at a bargain bin price and helps to add some skill to one of the spots on the roster that was especially lacking. After buying low on the likes of Tomas Fleischmann, another former oft-injured Avalanche forward, the Panthers are hoping they get a similar result with Peter Mueller.