Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Cullen could make ideal 'rental'
By Victoria Matiash
UPDATE: At present, Minnesota Wild management appears reluctant to move Matt Cullen. According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, GM Chuck Fletcher has little desire to trade Cullen ahead of the April 3rd deadline -- regardless of where the Wild sit on the standings.
"Matt Cullen has been a good player for us, he’s our second-line center," Fletcher said. "His contract is up, but, we signed him as an unrestricted free agent and didn’t invest one of our draft choices in him. To me it doesn’t create any urgency to move expiring contracts for future considerations. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re happy with how he’s played and he’s a key part of our team. You never know what can happen if there’s something that makes sense for your team, but our approach is that we don’t need to move these guys at all."
In the last year of his current contract, Matt Cullen could make the ideal trade rental for a playoff-bound club. But only if his current squad is (realistically) out of the hunt. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the veteran Minnesota Wild center hopes it doesn't come to that.
"When I signed here three years ago, I wanted to win a Cup here. I hope we can do that this year," Cullen said. "I love it here. My family's from here. It's a great organization. I love every part of it. It's easy to get ahead of yourself and start thinking about this stuff, and I know it will be on the forefront here before long as we get closer to the deadline."
One month ahead of the April 3rd trade deadline, the Wild sit (technically) ninth in the Western Conference with 22 points. But the club trails the third-place Vancouver Canucks by only two points. Cullen is only likely to be dealt (limited no-trade clause) if more games are lost than won in the next 30 days. Even then, the break in the relationship may only be short-term. The 36-year-old can always re-sign with the Wild in the summer.