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Florida isn’t in talks with Peter Mueller


Florida Panther assistant GM Mike Santos told the Miami Herald’s George Richards that the team isn’t “actively negotiating” with forward Peter Mueller as of Monday.

That sounds like a hockey franchise’s way of saying that Mueller has a really good personality.

The team took a low-risk peek at the 25-year-old in 2013, and it’s not surprising that the Panthers aren’t over the moon for the former first-round pick (eighth overall in 2006). He scored just 17 points in 43 games, registering a -11 rating on a mess of a team.

Mueller still carries a minor “What if?” factor - he’s likely to connect on more than 6.1 percent of his shots if he gets a chance with an NHL team next season, for one thing - although his opportunities to be anything more than that are starting to fade.

Even so, a thrifty team might be wise to give him a try at a near-minimum/two-way deal.

For some, there will be comic sadness in his departure, as the Panthers boasted a formidable hair and mustache combo this past season in Mueller’s mullet and Kris Versteeg’s mustache (both via Getty):



CORAL SPRINGS, FL– JANUARY 13: Kris Versteeg of the Florida Panthers poses for his official headshot for the 2012-2013 NHL season season on January 13, 2013. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Kris Versteeg

Eliot J. Schechter

Maybe Versteeg will combine that ‘stache with his 2011-12 hair to fill the void, though (also via Getty):

Florida Panthers v Colorado Avalanche

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 18: Kris Versteeg #32 of the Florida Panthers warms up prior to facing the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on January 18, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Doug Pensinger