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Mueller Impresses In Avalanche Debut

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche’s biggest deal on Wednesday certainly didn’t take long to pay dividends, as one of Peter Mueller’s most hectic days as a professional quickly turned into one of his most memorable.

The third-year forward had heard his name mentioned in trade rumors leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline, but was still surprised when Phoenix Coyotes general manager Don Maloney pulled him aside at practice and told him he was heading to the Colorado Avalanche.

“He pulled me aside, told me I was traded, wished me the best of luck and that was that,” Mueller said of his conversation with Maloney. “Obviously it’s a little bit of a shock, but I’m here now and I’m very excited to start a new page in my life and my career.”

Acquired just hours earlier, Mueller made it to Anaheim in time for Wednesday’s road contest against the Ducks and scored a goal in his Avalanche debut.

The eighth overall selection in the 2006 Entry Draft, Mueller was a coveted commodity leading up to the deadline despite having a down season for the Coyotes. One of the most appealing aspects of Mueller’s game is his ability to play the point on the power play. A big body with a heavy right-handed shot, the Bloomington, Minn., native thrives at getting pucks to the net from the point.

That’s exactly what he did in his first game with the Avs, as he netted a power-play goal with 4:18 remaining in the second period.

With the Avalanche applying pressure in the offensive end, John-Michael Liles kept the play alive by sprawling out to keep a puck in the zone at the blue line. The puck then ended up on the stick of Mueller, who threw a wrister on net from the left point that deflected off Anaheim defenseman James Wisniewski and past netminder Jonas Hiller to tie the game, 2-2.

In his first game with his new club, the 21-year-old spent the majority of the contest skating with 19-year-old Matt Duchene and 22-year-old Ryan Stoa on the Avalanche’s second line. In 15:20 of ice time, Mueller recorded two shots on goal and a hit to go along with his power-play tally.

In the end the Avalanche got the win by a 4-3 count, with Mueller scoring a goal and receiving a fresh start with a new team in the process.

“It’s an unbelievable place to go. It’s a world-class organization,” Mueller said of the Avalanche. “They’ve got a solid group of young kids and a solid group of veterans too. I’m very proud to be a part of the Colorado Avalanche.”
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