Mirco Müller will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2019-2020 season (whenever that actually is), leaving the Devils with a choice to make. They must tender him a qualifying offer by the deadline (TBD) or other teams will be allowed to contact and attempt to sign him. So should the Devils attempt to re-sign him, or at least make an offer, or should they allow other teams to swoop in and claim the 25 year old defenseman?
Lets Run The Numbers:
The Salary: Müller is currently on a one year, 1.4 million dollar contract. His previous contract with the Devils was a 2 year, $850,000 AAV deal.
Müller is rated a 70.35 by Corsica Hockey, ranked 111th among defensemen.
2019-20: 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points
GF% 38.98%, xG% 42.85%, SCF% 41.98%, CF% 43.81
Takeaways: 9, Giveaways: 27
Penalties: 7, Penalties Drawn: 1
Breakups/60 Percentile: 15th
Possession Entries Allowed/60 Percentile: 26th
Defensemen With Similar Salaries:
Zach Bogosian, TBL- 1 yr 1.4mil
Connor Carrick, NJD - 2 yr 1.5mil AAV
Andrej Sekera, DAL- 1 yr 1.5 mil
Matt Grzelcyk, BOS - 2 yr 1.4mil AAV
The Devils absolutely need defensemen next season. Unfortunately we need more than just bodies who play defense, and that’s a lot of what we have right now. Right now Müller plays in place of two players who could and should step into the 6 man rotation next season for equal or lesser money— Conor Carrick, a flexible RD, and Ty Smith, a LD who had better, so help me God, be a major player on this sorely defensively weak roster this winter. At this point the questions for Müller has to be “do we want him playing in place of the other players we have available?” and “Can we afford to keep him?”. Given his poor performance compared to other defensemen with similar salaries (Grzelcyk!?), the available options the Devils have besides him, and the need for cap space were going to have to use to build up the roster around our new rookies (Hughes, Boqvist, Smith, and Blackwood can all use some big names to help out in a way Müller just is not going to provide), my recommendation for Müller’s next contract? Bid him farewell and leave him for some other team to take on. I for one will not miss the number of times each game I spend shaking my head at yet another hairbrained play from him.
The Devils also have bigger fish to fry on the contract table— the last thing I want to see come out of this offseason is Nikita Gusev walking back to Russia because our management spent too much time focusing on Mirco Müller’s next deal.
Let him walk.
Would you want the Devils to re-sign Müller? Do we give him another year or two in hopes we can dangle him as bait for Seattle to take in the expansion draft? Do you think he’s worth keeping around? Leave your thoughts in the comments below and thanks for reading!