Last night on TSN, Darren Dreger revealed his top ten list of players who are expected to be dealt before the March 3rd trade deadline. Myself and others have already gone on ad nauseum about how the Senators are pressed up against the cap and without any expendable pieces that other teams would give up good value for, Ottawa will be hard pressed to take on a player without moving a salary in exchange. However, Dreger's list has one noticeable exception to it:
- Ilya Kovalchuk
- Ray Whitney
- Peter Mueller
- Matt Stajan
- Alexei Ponikarovsky
- Matt Cullen
- Lubomir Visnovsky
- Sheldon Souray
- Ethan Moreau
- Marty Turco
Yes, Peter Mueller, the 8th overall pick in 2006 who currently has 3 goals and 10 assists and a -7 rating is available. Why? I'm not particularly sure, it probably has to do something with the Dave Tippett school of thought that only entrusts his veterans. Since putting up 22 goals and 32 assists in 2007-08, Mueller's totals have regressed for the past two years so a change of scenery may do him a lot of good.
An aside, has anyone else noticed the abundance of first round talent that never truly works out favorably for Phoenix? Names like Wheeler, Mueller, Tikhonov, and Turris immediately come to mind and I'm sure there are more names on the list. Anyways, I digress...
The cap hit on Mueller comes in at a reasonable $1.7M and he is an impending restricted free agent. If Bryan Murray can follow in the footsteps of his predecessors and fleece the Coyotes in a deal, he'll have to move a roster player to do it. So what would it cost to get Mueller?
My suggestion: Ryan Shannon, Brian Lee and a draft pick.
While I like Shannon because he's an affordable guy who can play with some skilled guys, he is an impending unrestricted free agent. Although the potential to disrupt chemistry on the second line with Regin and Kovalev is there, Mueller I think could step in and adequately replace his contributions. As for Brian Lee, he's like Mueller in the sense that a change of scenery might do him some good.
What's fair value from Ottawa for Mueller?