One of our native sons has decided to return to the State of Hockey for one last twirl around the Xcel Energy Center ice. Matt Cullen, former member of the Wild, St. Cloud State Huskies, and Moorhead Spuds will put off retirement for at least one more season, as he has signed a $1 million contract plus a potential for $700K in performance bonuses, as first reported by Michael Russo of the StarTribune.
Cullen, a 40-year-old center who was with the Wild previously from 2010 until 2013, and is coming off of two consecutive Stanley Cup wins with Pittsburgh (he also won the Cup in 2006 with Carolina), scored 33 goals over his three seasons in Minnesota, maxing out at 14 in 2011-2012. Most recently, Cullen scored 13 goals and 18 assists last season with the Penguins, and 16 goals and 16 assists in ’15-’16.
Cullen will of course play more of a depth role in his second stint in his home state, but he brings leadership, respectability, and a truly reliable veteran/good guy presence to the locker room and bottom of the forward lineup.
In total, Cullen has 1,366 games of NHL experience, 248 career goals and 689 career points, as well as a genuinely kind, Minnesota Nice demeanor.
We’ll have more analysis in the days to come.
Welcome home, Cully!