By: Alex Kinkopf
November 22, 2016 5:12 PM
Chris Mueller, on what the last couple of days have been like:
Difficult. It’s been very hard. It’s been something that I don’t think any one of us have ever experienced. Maybe some of us have experienced deaths in our families or something like that, but as far as a tragedy with your teammate, you’re just kind of confused, you want answers. We’re together; we’re praying for Cunny, we’re here for each other, for sure.
Mueller, on hospital visits:
Guys have been to the hospital; guys have been there, I’ve been there the last couple of days and the last couple of nights to be with his family, to talk with his family and his Mom. We’re just here for each other; it’s a tough time for our team, a tough time for everybody, but we’re here for each other. We’ve been to the hospital, we’ve visited with his family, and given them all of the support they need, all of the help they need, so we’re just taking it day by day here.
Mueller, on what he saw when the incident took place:
Everything started normal and we went out for warmies, I sat next to him in the locker room, we’re linemates, same stuff same conversation, everything was exactly normal. We were just ready to drop the puck, and I look back at the bench like I usually do, my usual routine, and then I look just to my right, and Cunny was just laying there. I didn’t see him fall, I think me and [Dakota Mermis] were the first ones over there, and he was just laying there kind of tense, and then that’s when we kind of knew something was wrong, so we quickly signaled to the paramedics, to [Deven Alves], to our trainer, to whoever could get onto the ice, and then everything’s kind of a blur, and then the medical stuff took over. I’ve been in this league now for nine years, I’ve been in the NHL a bit, and I don’t know two trainers that could have done a better job than [Deven Alves and Matter Harder] did, the rest of the medical staff did, I can’t say enough about them. It’s unbelievable how they were that night, and it’s unbelievable how they’ve been throughout this whole process.
Mueller, on what he thinks of the wide-range of support for Cunningham:
It’s amazing how small the hockey world is, how strong it is. If you didn’t even know Craig, or who the person was that was hurt, you support them, just because you know what we go through. We’re a very close-knit athletic family, 99.9% of the hockey players I know or play against are good people, I think every athlete, every trainer or media that they deal with think hockey players are really good people, and then there’s a small percentage that are amazing people. There’s one or two guys on every team that you’re always going to talk to, that you love, that you gravitate toward, and Cunny’s one of those guys. That’s what you see on all the social media, guys saying ‘he’s my best friend’, and it’s true. It’s not just because he’s in a difficult situation, he is that special of a person. There’s a reason why every single guy on our team voted him Captain, it’s a special privilege, and he earned every single guy’s vote because of the person he is. I’ve personally only known him for four months, but I’ve spent every day with him, played with him, was a fellow captain with him, sat next to him in our room, my roommate on the road, and you could just tell right away how special he is, and that he’s going to be a lifelong friend for me. That’s what you see in the social media, and he deserves everything he’s getting, and he’s a beautiful person, he really is.