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Cullen ready to move on from Wild

Jul 5, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

Matt Cullen #7 of the Minnesota Wild shoots against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 30, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
(April 29, 2013 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

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.

  1. rsmaggiemae - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    First of all, the Wild did not have enough money to pay him his salary\ It boils down to economics……
    If he really wanted to play for the Wild and be home then take a pay cut and stay
    He must have money saved for the future as he has been playing for a long time. cant believe he has not done that ….so the greed aspect does take over..
    In all honesty, being he is 37 years old, I dont think he is worth 3.2 mil a year.
    I would give him 1,5 mil a year…. its not the end of the world that the Wild did not sign him as so many fans are in a uproar\
    Remember Suter and Parise made the committment to the Wild last year due to all the young talent coming up through the miniors to make a great team in 2-3 years. they did not come back to play with Cullen specifically.
    Yes, he helped the team, but so can another player It would have been nice for him to stay here but money means more to him than being home…
    I guess the pharse There’s no place like home does not apply to him in his later years
    I remember he was so worried during the lockout in not being able to play in his Last year of hockey now he wants to play more….
    On the Toronto radio podcast yesterday they were discussing how much of a misttake it would be for the redwings to sign cullen, ribero or weiss as they would not be solving a problem with the wings lines… but creating more of a problem

    Please listen to the podcast on 1050 Toronto radio

    • hockey412 - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Greed…hahahaha….should work for less than half of what he’d fetch on the market hahahahahahaha….

      I laugh at you. Crazy ideas, crazy post.

  2. polegojim - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Yes, credit Fletch for not being insulting. It is what it is. Let the man have his dignity.

  3. malkinrulez - Jul 5, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Parise and Suter committed to the Wild? Sure after mammoth contracts that last forever. Why can’t Cullen look to get paid?

  4. bigal5888 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    @rsmaggiemae, are you serious? Someone should come to your job and tell you that you have to find work in a different state if you want to continue working, or you can take a 50% pay cut. Let’s see if you take the pay cut and not show “greed”.

  5. rebekah319 - Jul 5, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    First of all Cullen is not a greedy guy second of all the Wild do not have enough cap space to have signed him. Matt Cullen loved his time here and the memories cant be taken away from him. He is a good guy that still has plenty left in him he will find a team that wants him. Greed is not part of his vocab!

  6. northstarsmitty - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Yeah the 1st comment is from a clueless fan who has some butt hurt going on. You are a young fan I take it, you have lots to learn about player attachment and free agency in sports. Cullen will be missed greatly by the state of hockey. Many fans will lash out at the Wild for ‘being stupid’ by not re-signing him. Obviously, that was not an option, hell I knew it when the season ended. I said at our seasons end we would not see Cullen, Bouchard, Clutterbuck, Heatley, or Gilbert back. Given the Heatley injury making it impossible to move him, I would say everything panned out as planned. We have a great crop of young talent to grow into the line up. Since Pominville didn’t really play for us after we traded for him, fans seems to forget his presence. Coyle or Granlund will shift over to center (yes they will show growing pains compared to Cullens success) and take the ranks there while Pominville will likely be paired with one of them as a winger to help form that new identity for one of our lines

  7. northstarsmitty - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    Plus, who ever these broadcasters are in Toronto are complete morons. I think Ribiero or Cullen would greatly build to the Red Wings success. As a Wild fan, I wish Cullen the absolute best and will be rooting for him where ever he goes, I just hope it is not to Detroit. He would be a really solid fit in Detroit. Tell me Toronto dudes, how does Cullen, who is one of the better face off winners in the league and brings great puck handing/shoot out skills to the table, not fit in with those attributes? If he ever sees ice time with Pavel Datsyuk, that is scary

  8. lordfletcher - Jul 5, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    good luck Cullen, if Heater wasn’t inured and he was bought out, you would still be with the Wild.

    Wild need D more than a #2 center (crazy to think that, but Coyle is likely the guy)… %ucking Vlasic!!!!!

  9. homegrowntalentmn - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    We need D but we need a #2 center more. We’re really weak down the middle. With a lot of wingers!…

  10. homegrowntalentmn - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Also I want to keep the parise koivu coyle line intact

  11. vstar1us - Jul 5, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Cullen is a class act, as a crazy Wild fan he was fun to watch and cheer for! Thank you Sir for the time you did give the team and its fans. Thank very much, I hope you can continue to play for a long time you are one of Class Acts of the NHL

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