NASHVILLE TN - JANUARY 11: Chris Mueller #53 of the Nashville Predators skates against Brent Burns #8 of the Minnesota Wild on January 11 2011 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
With the season now over, it's time to take a look back and examine each player's individual performance. We'll briefly break it down, and then offer a letter grade for the year. It's report cards, Nashville Predators-style, from Blum to Wilson. Next up: Chris Mueller
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The Skinny: Before training camp began, I had no idea who Chris Mueller was. An ECHL veteran and Milwaukee Admirals playoff performer, Mueller received an invitation to Preds camp, but was without an NHL contract and began the year in the AHL with Milwaukee, where he was a standout player for much of the year, including the playoffs.
With all of Matthew Lombardi, David Legwand, Marcel Goc, and Cal O`Reilly being injured at various points during the year, the Predators' center depth was decimated, and David Poile's hand was forced - he signed Mueller to a one year, two-way deal worth $500,000, and he was immediately recalled on December 27.
The Performance: Mueller played in 15 games (coincidentally, our cut-off point for these report cards), notching 3 assists while averaging 8:38 minutes played per game, predominantly on the fourth line with J.P. Dumont and Matt Halischuk. His season's high point was undoubtedly his January 18th performance against Phoenix, where he played a season high 12:29 and assisted on two of Dumont's hat trick goals.
The Grade: Due to anonymity and being an unknown commodity, its hard to say what the expectations for Mueller were. That said, he was recalled to fill the fourth line center position, so one would've hoped for a serviceable effort at the task. In fifteen games, Chris Mueller's play was that of a serviceable fourth line center, so he gets a B. I assume that the Predators will tender him a qualifying offer, but I would not expect to see him in Nashville much next year, if at all.
How would you grade Chris Mueller's season?
A (15 votes)
B (60 votes)
C (53 votes)
D (9 votes)
F (3 votes)
140 total votes