It would have been easy for Peter Mueller to skip Wednesday's informal workout in Pompano Beach. After all, the new Panthers forward said he had a noon flight to catch to spend Thanksgiving in Minnesota.

Mueller piled into his Chevy Avalanche at 11:15 a.m. and headed toward the airport.

But not before participating in the workout — he didn't even sneak out early.

Mueller, 24, signed a one-year deal with the Panthers on July 1 and can't wait to get this season started. Mueller hasn't missed a workout since arriving in South Florida.

On Wednesday, he made his flight. Barely. He would much rather have been suiting up for the Panthers that night. The NHL lockout, now in its third month, has prevented Mueller and the rest of the Panthers from being able to do what they love.

"It's tough. I came in here ready to go," said Mueller, who has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.