By Alexander Monaghan
UPDATE 10/20/11: Peter Mueller will not play tonight, that much is clear. Apparently, he won’t play on Saturday either due to “not feeling well”. His timetable at this point is anyone’s guess with the team’s media and players just as confused by the situation. From All Things Avs:
“I don’t think anyone of us really know the details about it,” Avs forward TJ Galiardi said. “Obviously, it’s not as bad as last year because he has been on the ice. I don’t even know what’s wrong with him, whether he just has a cold or not. We’re all rooting for him. He made such a good comeback. It’s very unfortunate to see but until I know more details I don’t know how to comment.”
If you invested in Mueller before the season it may be time to let him go. His replacement, SEL standout Joakim Lindstrom, has played quite well in his absence with two goals over his first three games. With a 1 percent ownership rate, Lindstrom likely could be had in any league that deemed Mueller fantasy hockey relevant.
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UPDATE 10/17/11: The latest from Toronto comes via Adrian Dater’s All Things Avs. To summarize, Mueller is not suffering from concussion-like symptoms and will be reinserted back into the lineup as soon as this Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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UPDATE 10/16/11: The newest from Adrian Dater of The Denver Post, via Twitter, reports that Mueller continues to skate with the team but practiced with the fourth liners and extra forwards this morning — indicating that he will not play tomorrow night. Stay tuned for a further update.
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UPDATE 10/15/11: Less than a month since our last update here, Mueller is back on the shelf. A late scratch in Thursday’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators the first liner is now listed as day-to-day. Adrian Dater of The Denver Post has his finger on the pulse of this latest infliction. From All Things Avs:
Peter Mueller won’t play again tonight.
The good news: he skated this morning, and is listed as “day-to-day” by the team. But nobody will say exactly what’s wrong with him. Do I think he’s got some concussion symptoms again? It doesn’t really matter what I think. I’m not a doctor, and Mueller isn’t allowed to talk.
As Dater later noted, he would not be skating with a concussion. Through his first three games back, the Bloomington, Minnesota native has no points but took five shots on goal and gave out two hits.
UPDATE #2: Looks like Mueller will consult his specialist, Dr. Robert Cantu, regarding this specific injury. More to come…
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UPDATE 9/21/11: Mueller felt great following yesterday’s scrimmage with no ill effects from the concussion. See the video for yourself and feel safe drafting him in deeper leagues.
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UPDATE 9/15/11: Further reports from yesterday’s camp sound more-than-encouraging. From All Things Avs:
“Every time I’m out there I feel better,” he said. “It’s been a long time coming, 18 months without doing anything. It’s coming back and I’m excited to get going.”
Again, if you wanted to draft him, you have the green light.
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UPDATE 9/14/11: Great news from Colorado Avalanche camp, courtesy of Adrian Dater. From the All Things Avs:
Avalanche forward Peter Mueller made his debut at this week’s rookie camp, skating with the rest of the veterans during the second ice-time slot on Day 2 of the pre-training camp activities, which includes scrimmages on both sheets at Family Sports Center. Mueller, who missed all of last season with post-concussion issues, is donning a dark-tinted visor. He looks fine.
Certainly sounds like Mueller is on track to return to the lineup during the preseason. If you had him on your cheat sheet, keep him where he is as he looks “fine” on the ice. Expect further updates as they are reported.
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On September 24, 2010, my colleague Matt Bennett was kind enough to update us on the status of former 8th overall pick Peter Mueller. Back then, Mueller was fresh on our minds, signing a two-year extension just 12 days earlier. He was dubbed ‘The Savior’ following a 20-point outburst in only 15 games as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. His performance was good enough to thrust the organization into the playoffs in a rebuilding year. Savior indeed.
Barely 11 months later, Mueller serves as an after though, and possibly even a gimmick. He missed the entire 2010-2011 season due to his concussion. His now-famous concussion history has led to numerous discussions regarding head injuries and helmets — Mueller will presumably play with the new S19 Z-Shock made by Easton sports — that can help suppress some of the impact. Perhaps he will be Eric Lindros version 2.0 but at least the early reports indicate he will not be Brett Lindros.
Don’t draft him just yet but keep in mind the reports are positive. From The Denver Post:
Mueller, a left winger whose good health could be a major key to how successful the Avs are this coming season, has been skating regularly and will undergo physicals with the rest of the team Sept. 16. Assuming he passes, he’ll be on the ice with no restrictions the next day, the first of training camp.
In a league where Sidney Crosby, Chris Pronger and most recently Patrick Kane might not hit the ice come training camp, Mueller may hold a competitive advantage. As a fantasy hockey general manager reading this article or any other first-hand Avs news, you too would have an advantage should Mueller make good on his claim. His return could not only rejuvenate his career but could also kick-start his team back into the playoffs.
His linemates of old — Milan Hejduk and Matt Duchene — remain on the roster while they still feature an above-average supporting cast in Paul Stastny, David Jones and second overall pick Gabriel Landeskog. If he can prove himself healthy then you have just found yourself a winger with a potentially unlimited ceiling. He seemed incredibly capable of topping a point-per-game pace two seasons ago. The timing will need to come back but those of you drafting in deeper leagues or willing to take a risk could find worse ways of allocating that pesky 16th round selection.
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