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Breaking down the Mueller trade

Posted By Matt Shott On Mar 6 2010 @ 4:29 pm In Phoenix Coyotes | 6 Comments

The Arizona Republic is reporting [1] that recently traded forward Peter Mueller had requested to be moved from the team and was “very, very unhappy” according to GM Don Maloney.

Maloney tried to get it to work but in the end couldn’t find a way to keep him and now Mueller is on the Colorado Avalanche.

This makes the second player in two years that didn’t want to play for Phoenix, the other being Blake Wheeler who couldn’t reach a contract agreement with the Coyotes and eventually signed in Boston.

Wheeler I could care less about walking, he shouldn’t have been drafted as high as he was, but Mueller was supposed to be a player who would be the future of the Phoenix Coyotes.  Mueller showed such promise in his rookie campaign that it seemed like a no brainer he would be heavily relied upon when he got more experience.

Unfortunately, that never happened and Mueller went into one of the worst sophomore slumps in recent years, scoring only 36 points in 72 games, an 18 point drop off from his rookie year.  And this year has been no better posting 17 points in 54 games.

Asking for a trade adds more and more negativity to a team that is already swamped with negative press despite being on a pace to prove every professional analyst wrong by making the playoffs.

What does this show for the organization now that Mueller, a player destined to be one of the future faces of the team, wanted out?  Will this tell all of the young prospects in the Coyotes system that playing for this team is not desirable?

Or was it that Mueller didn’t like the coaching change that actually gave the Coyotes a strategy, albeit a very defensive strategy, to win games that he couldn’t adapt to since defense is not one of his stronger suites?

Regardless of Mueller’s reasoning for asking to be traded, it should worry fans that the team may have ended up giving away the better piece of the trade.

There are two types Phoenix Coyotes draft picks that Mueller can fall under:  The traveling circus picks that include such illustrious players such as Ben Eager, Krys Kolanos, and Fredrick Sjostrom that will see Mueller amount to nothing but a third line/fourth line player his whole life on numerous different teams, something Coyote fans should hope for so that he doesn’t end up in list two:

The millionaire’s club, which consists of only one player- Daniel Briere.  Briere may not be the same impact player now with the Flyers then he was with the Sabres, and is considered extremely over-paid, but in all honesty, he can score you a goal when needed to, and has done that since his trade from Phoenix.  He led Buffalo to the top of the league for two seasons and he has been very good for Philly as well, when not injured.

This is the type of player that Coyotes fans need to hope Mueller does not become because he has that type of potential.  He has a lazer for a shot, will score four out of five times on a breakaway and can find him self in goal scoring position when need be.

But Mueller had been scratched a lot this season due to poor performance and his lack of hard work, which results in no defense, something coach Dave Tippett will not go for.

Mueller seems like the kind of player that gets distraught over a scoring slump or being a healthy scratch, which he has seen alot of over the past two seasons.  He also seems like a guy who would be affected in a large way after receiving a big hit that would cause a concussion, just like he received  after a hit against Anaheim on January 28th of last season.

Before that hit he wasnt playing terrible, he was in the right position getiing a few shots off a game and playing the point on the power play better then usual.  After January 28th, Mueller never seemed to be the same player again.

He looked scared to go into corners, he looked scared to go near situations that would get him hit, and he certainly looked scared to get his hands dirty to play a little defense.

Hopefully this change of scenery will do Mueller some good and I hope that he does end up having a good career putting up solid numbers and being heavily relied on for his team.  I really think he is the type of player that will be able to change games and win them for his team, unfortunately that team will not be the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Coyotes will end up winning this trade regardless of how Mueller’s career ends up if Wojtek Wolski, the player traded for Mueller, provides the secondary scoring (that Mueller was not doing) in the playoffs (if the team ends up making it) and ends up staying long passed this year providing top line scoring like the player he is able to become.

Wolski proved in his first game with the team that he can be an important factor to the game by scoring the game winning goal with 22 seconds left and hopefully he can keep that spark going for the team when they take on the Anaheim Ducks tonight.

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[1] is reporting: http://www.azcentral.com/sports/coyotes/articles/2010/03/04/20100304coyotes-lee-stempniak.html

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