Maybe three times will be a charm for the Wild and Matt Cullen.
For the third time in Cullen's career, he will become a free agent when the clock strikes 11 Thursday morning. For the third time in Cullen's career, the Wild -- in need of a center -- is expected to pursue him.
The Wild couldn't lasso him the previous two times, but the team might have a better chance this go-around.
"To be honest, at the point I was at four years ago, I don't think I could have handled playing in Minnesota," said Cullen, a former St. Cloud State standout who played in three consecutive boys' hockey state tournaments with Moorhead in the '90s. "But just growing and maturing as a person and a player, to the point of having a young family now, I think I'm at a good spot where I can handle it and excel there.
This is a move that I believe makes sense for the Wild. 1.) It gives the Wild a home grown kid on the Wild from the State of Hockey. 2.) Fills a needs in the offensive zone, for the Minnesota Wild are offensively challenged. 3.) It probably wouldn’t cost the Wild all that much and Cullen is a good two way center that plays both ends of the ice. You also can’t discount that he won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes. [More from EricB]