The free agent period is about to start and Matt Cullen can say with confidence that his time with the Minnesota Wild has come to an end. The team is up against the cap ceiling and consequently never even offered Cullen a contract.
“[Wild GM Chuck Fletcher] said all along he wasn’t going to do that unless he could make a legitimate offer,” Cullen told the Star Tribune on Thursday. “That’s a pretty classy move. He called me last night and we talked a little while and he said it’s a tough call to make, but he just can’t find the room to make an offer. So that was it.
“It was a sad night in the Cullen household last night. We were pretty disappointed, but understanding of the situation.”
The 36-year-old center has spent his last three seasons with Minnesota. This was his sixth NHL team, but it was also a special one for him given his Minnesota roots.
“It was more than I would have ever imagined as far as playing at home and raising my kids there and being part of the organization and watching the organization grow from where it was three years ago to where it is now,” Cullen said. “I just leave with a lot of positive memories. It was a great experience for me. It was a lot of fun.
“Obviously, I would have liked to have won more games, but last year was one of the most enjoyable seasons playing hockey, and to go on that note, not many guys play pro hockey in their home state.
“Now it’s time to move on.”
He shouldn’t have problem finding work elsewhere after scoring seven goals and 27 points in 42 games last season.