Mirco Müller recently signed a six-year contract with HC Lugano. But the 26-year-old defenseman has yet to draw a line on his NHL career. Switzerland faces Slovakia on Thursday at 3.15pm.
HC Lugano, now coached by Chris McSorley, has enlisted the services of Mirco Müller. The news fell just before the start of the world championship and had the effect of a bomb in the small world of Swiss hockey.
The length of the Ticinese tenure of the former San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils defenseman, who found himself without a club in the NHL at the end of the 2019-2020 fiscal year? Six years!
At only 26 years old and after ten years spent in North America, first in the junior leagues (Everett Silvertips / WHL) then later in the pros, has the international back already decided to to draw a line on his NHL career?
“I did not close the NHL chapter, on the contrary. I hope to get a contract there and play there again next season, ”cut the Zurich player in 188 matches in the North American circuit, joined in Riga during the Worlds. « It will all depend on mwe tournament and the performances that I will have here in Latvia with the Swiss team. Lugano made me a very good offer, but I hope there will be opportunities in NHL for next season.The free agent market, of which Müller is a part, opens July 28 in North America.
In other words, the number 25 of the Swiss team will only join the Ticino team if none of the 32 NHL franchises (the Seattle Kraken will start next season) does not offer him a place in his squad. The six-year contract with HC Lugano being at this stage, only a security in case his NHL plans do not materialize. Lugano did not mention this possibility in the press release announcing the arrival this summer of the international defender for the next six seasons.
Leksands instead of the LHC
While his name had been circulating insistently in Switzerland for several months, Müller ended the season in Sweden with Leksands. Before he chose the SHL championship, the Lausanne Hockey Club had tried to secure its services. “Yes, the LHC approached in the month of January, confirms the Zurich resident. It was not easy for me to see what were my best options to end the season. I have finally opted for the club Leksands in Sweden and I do not regret this choice. I only stayed there for 2 months, but it was a great experience that allowed me to progress and develop as a player.«
In Riga, the powerful 1m91 defender left a strong impression in the opening two matches alongside Jonas Siegenthaler, Nico Hischier’s teammate at the New Jersey Devils. « Jonah (Yesegenthaler) et I’m trying to bring that physical touch and our NHL experience has a lot to do with it, explains Müller. It’s our style of playing that way, of playing hard on the man and trying to give the attackers a bad night.Like the whole Swiss team, Müller had a much more contrasted evening on Tuesday against Sweden (0-7), alongside Romain Loeffel this time around.
The players of Patrick Fischer are however determined to correct the shooting Thursday against Slovakia on the occasion of their fourth match of the tournament (15:15).
Born March 21, 1995 in Winterthur.
Six-year contract with Lugano from 2021.
Drafted by the San Jose Sharks in 2013 (1st round, 18th overall pick).
Professional career: Kloten Flyers (7 games in 2011-2012), Worcester Sharks / AHL and San Jose Barracuda / AHL, San Jose Sharks / NHL (from 2014 to 2017), New Jersey Devils / NHL (2017 to 2020), Leksand / SHL (13 matches in 2021).
International: 2nd participation in the Worlds (2018, 2021).