(HockeySTL)-- For the second time this week, forward Peter Mueller has been placed on waivers by the Blues. This time, however, the intention is to terminate Mueller’s contract.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong confirmed Tuesday that the club had placed Mueller on unconditional waivers, which is a precursor to the team cutting ties with the forward.
Mueller was assigned to the Blues’ American Hockey League affiliate Chicago Wolves on Sunday, but never reported to the team. The forward indicated to Blues general manager Doug Armstrong that he has no desire to play in the AHL.
“He was assigned this weekend to go to Chicago,” Armstrong said. “He doesn’t want to go to Chicago. We put him on unconditional waivers today for buyout. “
Mueller has 24 hours to clear waivers unclaimed before the Blues can terminate his contract. Once the Blues terminate the deal, Mueller is free to sign wherever he wishes. It appears that he may be eyeing a return to Europe, where he played last season.
“If he clears tomorrow we will talk one more time and make sure he no longer has the desire to remain in North America and he will be released from his contract, no buyout, and he will be able to sign wherever he wants,” Armstrong said.
Mueller, 26, signed a one-year, two way deal with the Blues this offseason. At the time, the Blues felt Mueller would fit into their top nine. However, Joakim Lindstrom emerged as a camp surprise, taking the available spot.
“We thought that he had a good camp,” Armstrong said. “He wasn’t in our group of nine players that were going to start in our first three lines and we view him as a top nine player. He just doesn’t feel like he has the desire to go to the American Hockey League at this time and work his way back up. So, I have to respect that and we will move forward with that.”
Mueller has already cleared waivers once this week, which means if he has a change of heart on Wednesday, he can remain with the Blues and report to Chicago. That isn’t likely and the Blues are expected to terminate Mueller’s one-year deal at that point.
Armstrong said the Blues had no indication when they signed the forward that Mueller would be unwilling to report to the AHL if he didn’t make the NHL roster. Armstrong talked to Mueller on Saturday to inform him of the club’s decision. That was when it was first indicated that Mueller was unwilling to play in the AHL.
“I don’t think we would have gone down that path if we had thought that was the possibility,” said Armstrong. “What we promised him was a fair shake in training camp. I thought if it got to this point he would go down and push and prod and wait for his opportunity. He just doesn’t have the fight to do this right now.”