Peter Mueller appeared to have been given a new lease on his hockey career after getting dealt to the Colorado Avalanche at the trade deadline in 2010. In 15 games with the Avalanche down the stretch, Mueller compiled 9-goals and 20-points… three more than he had amassed in the previous 54 contests with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Mueller would miss the final four games of the 2009-10 season and the playoffs after suffering a concussion on a hit from the Kings Sharks Rob Blake in early April. A setback in his recovery caused Mueller to sit out the entire 2010-11 season, but the former 8th overall pick (2006) of the Coyotes is reportedly close to a full recovery and ready to put his concussion problems behind him for the 2011-12 season.

Mueller on returning to hockey, via Denver Post:

“I’m excited to be a hockey player again. Obviously, I’ve had concussions in the past and it’s something I have to deal with, but right now everything is in the right direction. Everything is pointing forward. I’m excited that it’s all behind me.”

Mueller will be sporting a bit of a different look when he does return. The 23-year old will wear a new helmet from Easton and a tinted visor designed to temper the bright arena lights.

More on Mueller’s new gear from Adrian Dater:

Mueller believes a new one-piece helmet — made by Easton Sports called the S19 Z-Shock — will help him stay healthy. Despite weighing only 325 grams, Easton claims the helmet exceeds minimum safety regulations of NHL helmets by as much as 40 percent. He’ll also wear a new tinted visor designed to lower the potentially harmful effects bright lighting can have on concussion victims.

Assuming Mueller passes the necessary physicals in time for training camp, his full recovery will make for an encouraging reminder that the effects of some concussions can be conquered, but it’s also a reminder of the long and uncertain road that players must battle on their way back. It’s unknown if Mueller will be able to tap into that potential we saw some glimpses of in his three seasons with Phoenix and Colorado, but we’ll certainly be pulling for him to make an impact.