TORONTO – The Sharks recalled defenseman Mirco Mueller from the Barracuda on Monday, ahead of their four-game road swing that begins on Tuesday.
The move likely means that at least one of the Sharks’ two injured defenseman won’t be able to play against the Maple Leafs, as Mueller will be the eighth rear guard on the roster. David Schlemko has missed the last three games with a right ankle injury, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic did not play in the second half of Saturday’s 4-3 win over Carolina with a lower body injury.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer told reporters on Sunday that Vlasic had improved since Saturday but was still “day-to-day.” Last season, the Sharks were 7-7-1 without their defensive stalwart in the lineup.
Schlemko said on Thursday that he had hoped to play in one of the two Sharks games over the weekend, but that didn't happen.
Mueller has taken warmups in each of the last two Sharks games, but has yet to make his season debut. He played for the Barracuda on Sunday, recording one assist, and has seven points, all assists, in 18 AHL games and a minus-four rating this season.
Sharks coach Pete DeBoer was complimentary of the 21-year-old’s game when asked about him last week.
“All the reports out of the American League team were that that he’s been excellent,” DeBoer said of the 2013 first round pick. “I think he’s really taken a step maturity-wise as a player and as a kid this year. Everybody’s saying that he looks like he’s ready for full-time NHL duty. … He’s a guy that belongs up here.”
Mueller’s recall also means the Sharks won’t bring up another forward for the trip, despite speculation that Timo Meier is on the cusp of making his NHL debut. According to CapFriendly.com, the club simply can’t afford to add another body to its roster due to salary cap constraints without removing an active player.
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Barracuda goalie Troy Grosenick was named as the AHL’s player of the week on Monday. The Wisconsin native stopped 64 shots over eight periods, including back-to-back shutouts over the weekend against San Diego. He has a scoreless streak of 181 minutes and 36 seconds.
In 12 games with the Barracuda this season, Grosenick, who played two games for the Sharks in 2014-15 season, is 5-4-1 with a 1.98 goals-against average and .928 save percentage with four shutouts.