Fantasy Impact: The Florida Panthers have signed Peter Mueller to a one-year contract worth a reported $1.75 million (per RDS).
The Panthers get: a highly-skilled forward who had vast potential prior to running into massive concussion problems. Mueller has missed 145 games over the last three seasons - or 48 games missed per year. It was risky enough for the Colorado Avalanche to walk away from giving him a qualifying offer.
But he has 36 points in the last 47 games that he did play. The eighth overall pick in 2008 was considered by some to be one of the better offensive players to emerge from the WHL in the last decade. He had 54 points as a rookie. His fourth NHL season, instead of being a breakout campaign, was a "wipeout" campaign as his concussion sidelined him for the entire year.
Fantasy Players Impacted: In an offseason that was thin in terms of offensive players, Mueller could very well have been the second best option after Zach Parise, were it not for the concussion factor. Instead, he was an afterthought. A footnote. And that's where he could well remain if he's hit the wrong way again. Or perhaps he makes a successful comeback, in which case this would be a Dale Tallon steal that would slot in right above the Tomas Fleischmann one of a year ago. Incidentally, Fleischmann wasn't re-signed by the Avalanche either.
Now several players are probably going to be hurt by the move, particularly younger players. Jack Skille is not getting on a scoring line. Not that he was before, but now it's pretty much a done deal. I think Jonathan Huberdeau still makes this team and I don't think he will be hurt by this move because he is such an elite player. Perhaps, if they sign Nick Bjugstad, they'll form a Kid Line of Huberdeau - Bjugstad - Mueller.
But this hurts the chances of Quinton Howden making the club, and it hurts the ice time/PP time of Shawn Matthias.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
4. Tomas Kopecky
5. Shawn Bergenheim