Trade rumors aside, Wild's Cullen hopes he can stay put

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSOMRUSSO@STARTRIBUNE.COM , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 2, 2013 - 12:06 AM
hide

Minnesota Wild's Matt Cullen and Kyle Brodziak celebrate Cullen's second goal on the Edmonton Oilers.

Photo: Jason Franson, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Matt Cullen is a savvy pro. At 36, in his 16th season, he knows how it works.

The trade deadline is April 3. He is in the last year of a contract that would make him an unrestricted free agent if the Wild chooses not to re-sign him.

That means, without fail, Cullen will be the subject of trade rumors for the next month.

"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.

"I don't know what's going to happen. I know what I hope for, though."

Cullen hopes that the Wild continues to push for the playoffs so he doesn't go anywhere. Players like Cullen, who won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006, are hot commodities to playoff contenders this time of year.

He's a speedster, a leader, a versatile player and a contributor in every role. But that's what makes him so valuable to the Wild, too, which is why it may make no sense to trade Cullen, providing the Wild stays in the race.

Cullen also had 10 points in 13 games heading into Friday's game at Anaheim.

"When our game started to get going here a couple weeks ago, he ... started to help us get there," said coach Mike Yeo, who loves Cullen's work ethic, defensive-zone coverage, faceoff prowess [.556 win percentage] and strong play on the penalty kill.

"He's been a great example for us," Yeo said. "Every shift, he's just going out and doing the right thing."

Cullen had a slow start to the season, but since he switched back to his natural center position, he has felt more comfortable.

"The last 10 games, I've felt as good as I've felt in a long time," Cullen said. "My body feels great, and my legs feel really good. This is an important part of the season for us. You can either slip or turn things around and get going. I feel we're starting to do that, and it's just important that everybody elevates as much as you can."

Zucker plays in home state

Most Wild fans know that Jason Zucker is the first Nevada-raised NHLer in history. But he was actually born in Newport Beach, Calif., and moved to Las Vegas when he was 2 months old.

Friday was Zucker's first NHL game in Southern California. His former roller hockey coach, several cousins and his great-grandparents, Yvonne and Bob, attended the game. His great-grandparents are in their 70s and live in Huntington Beach. It was the first time they have seen him play live.

"It's awesome," he said before the game.

Zucker moved back to California at age 10 to play for the L.A. Hockey Club. After two years, he returned home to play for the Las Vegas Outlaws AAA team before moving to Detroit at age 15 to play for Compuware.

Konopka new player rep

Since center Zenon Konopka was the only Wild player to attend a bargaining session during the lockout, it shouldn't come as a shock that no Wild player raised his hand and volunteered to be the new player rep once Darroll Powe was traded last month to the Rangers.

So ... Konopka replaces Powe, who replaced traded Nick Schultz last year.

"Everyone else volunteered me for it," Konopka said. "They had a vote without me and voted I should be the new rep."

Konopka, scratched in four of the past five games, played Friday. Mikael Granlund was scratched. On the back end, Nate Prosser played for Justin Falk.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 7:25 PM
Carolina
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 6:00 PM
Orlando
Detroit 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New York 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Utah 7:30 PM
Dallas
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Arizona 6:30 PM
Florida
San Jose 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Anaheim 7:00 PM
St. Louis
NY Islanders 8:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Vancouver
(2) Florida State 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
Sporting Kansas City 7:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close