Mueller Among Four RFA Signed by Preds
Milwaukee, WI—Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forwards Matt Halischuk and Nick Spaling to two-year contracts, and forwards Chris Mueller and Cal O’Reilly to one-year deals.
Mueller led the Admirals in points (24g-26a-50pts) and goals and also played 15 games in two stints with the Predators (0g-3a-3pts) in 2010-11. The West Seneca, N.Y., also ranked third in the AHL in shorthanded goals (4), and tied for the Admirals team lead in game-winning goals (5) in his third professional season. Mueller was signed as a free agent by the Predators on December 27, 2010, and made his NHL debut the following night vs. Dallas. The 5-11, 180-pound right wing posted 104 points (42g-62a) and 141 penalty minutes in 166 games (missing just four contests total) with Michigan State University from 2004-08, serving as an alternate captain during his junior and senior seasons and helping the Spartans win the 2007 NCAA National Championship.
Halischuk led Nashville rookies in points (4g-8a-12pts) making his team debut on Jan. 16, 2011 at Chicago and playing 27 of the team’s final 38 regular-season games. The Toronto, Ont., native also suited up for all 12 of Nashville’s 2011 Stanley Cup Playoff contests, recording a pair of goals, one of which ended the longest game in Predators franchise history at 14:51 of double-overtime of Nashville’s 2011 Western Conference Semifinal Game Two at Vancouver. The 6-0, 185-pound right wing also ranked fifth on the 2010-11 Admirals in points per game (.62; 11g-12a-23pts in 37gp) and tied for third in game-winning goals (3).
Spaling spent his first full season at the NHL level in 2010-11, posting 14 points (8g-6a) in 74 games; the Predators were a perfect 11-0-0 when he registered a point. The Drayton, Ont., native also posted six points (2g-4a) during the Predators 2011 playoff run, scoring two goals, including the series-clinching goal in Nashville’s Western Conference Quarterfinal series vs. Anaheim, and setting up both Jerred Smithson’s overtime goal – the first in the franchise’s playoff history – in a Game Five victory at Anaheim, and Halischuk’s goal in the double-OT victory in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals at Vancouver.
O’Reilly ranked second on the Predators in points (6g-12a-18pts) in 38 games upon sustaining an injury on Jan. 2, 2011 that cost him the remainder of the 2010-11 season. The 6-0, 188-pound center posted a pair of five-game point streaks in his first 27 games of last season (Oct. 30-Nov. 11 and Nov. 30-Dec. 8), helping surpass his previous career total of 16 points (5g-11a) in 42 NHL contests in 2008-09 and 2009-10. The Varna, Ont., native also averaged 16:54 of ice time in 2010-11, more than 3:30 above his career average entering the season (13:21). Nashville’s fourth choice, 150th overall (fifth round) in the 2005 Entry Draft played in back-to-back AHL All-Star Games in 2009 and 2010, and finished in the top three in the AHL in assists in both the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons while in Milwaukee.
Season tickets for the Admirals 2011-12 season are on sale now for as little as $145. For more information, or to purchase season tickets, fans should call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550. Don’t forget to follow the Admirals on Twitter (@mkeadmirals) and on Facebook!