Avalanche Final Grade 2012: Peter Mueller

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18: Peter Mueller #88 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the Florida Panthers as he had two goals in the 4-3 overtime win by the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)


Peter Mueller

#88 / Center / Colorado Avalanche

6-2

204

Apr 14, 1988


2011 Cap Hit: $2,000,000

2012 Status: RFA

Peter Mueller's season was, unorthodox, to say the least. After missing the entire 2010-2011 season with a concussion Mueller came into opening night ready to put his injuries behind him and rediscover his game. Unfortunately, Mueller's concussion symptoms returned after just 3 games and the forward was forced back onto the injured reserve list. On January 12, 2012 against the Nashville Predators, Peter Mueller returned to the ice for the season. It took 4 more games for Mueller to register his first 3 points of the year, 2 goals and an assist against the Florida Panthers in what became one of the Avs most memorable games of the season. Late in the year Mueller missed more time with a torso injury and struggled to produce when he returned to the ice.

Mueller finished the season with 7 goals and 9 assists in 32 games, career lows in every category but really, Mueller's season wasn't just about the numbers. Mueller worked his way back from a career threatening injury, twice to once again become a contributing member of the team. Next season he should be able to start training camp with a clean bill of health and proper summer conditioning for the first time in 3 years. If the Avs retain Mueller, he brings a great shot from the point, nice puck movement on the rush and on the power play, and some shoot first ask questions later instincts to a team that struggled to score goals all year (not to mention, he's got a cool new tinted visor).

Cole's Take: When he's healthy, Mueller is honestly one of my favorite players on the Avs roster. I love the way this guy sees the ice, the creative passes he makes and most of all his cannon of a shot, whether its a slapper from the point or his really, REALLY quick wrist shot, I love Mueller. I got his game used stick for my birthday a year ago and at the time was scared he'd never play again so watching him make his way back to the team may have been my highlight of the year. With his health back, I can't wait to see Mueller put up 20 goals next year.

Sandie's Take: When I went to Denver in December, Cheryl was kind enough to attend the Pepsi Center tour with me. we somehow talked our way into a closed practice. Now, all of you probably expected that I'd be staring at Daniel Winnik. I believe my first words were "Holy shit, that's Peter Mueller. Cheryl, Mueller is on the freaking ice!!" Not only was he on the ice, he looked great. He was flying out there. After the practice we met up with Marc Moser who told us that Peter had been like that for the last month. I think I can speak for Cheryl here when I say, we were both utterly thrilled.

When Mueller returned for his first game back since fighting concussions, I honestly didn't really care about *how* he played, as long as he didn't re-injure his noggin. The fact that he was able to play 32 games and get 16 points left me thrilled. Five of those points came on the power play. I'm hoping that next year Mueller can play a full season without worrying about his head.

2012 Outlook: The Avs have given no word on their intentions for Peter Mueller this summer, but as an RFA who can be signed for cheap and has a high talent ceiling, I cant imagine they will let him walk. His concussion history makes him difficult to depend on in the top six, but at a bargain price I'm sure Kroenke wont mind.

GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2011 - Peter Mueller 32 7 9 16 -3 8 1 0 1 82

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