Cullen humbled by team's tribute for 1,000th game

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 25, 2012 - 12:02 AM

The veteran was thrilled at how the Wild honored him for playing his 1,000th NHL game.


The Wild's Matt Cullen reached for the puck after knocking down Philadelphia's Claude Giroux.

Photo: Matt Slocum, Associated Press

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DENVER - Matt Cullen was excited to just be one of the guys again Tuesday.

The Wild's eldest statesman, 34, was uncomfortable Saturday night with all the hoopla made over his 1,000-game accomplishment before playing Dallas.

Cullen was showered with gifts, including an outdoor sauna given by teammates at a postgame party.

"Unbelievable," Cullen said, laughing. "You're used to seeing watches or whatever, but that fits me perfect."

Cullen's father, Terry, and brothers, Mark and Joe, spoke of their pride during a highlight package as his family, including his wife, Bridget, and three sons, watched from the ice.

Throughout Saturday's game, wishes of congratulations were offered to Cullen on the Jumbotron by several ex-teammates, including Ray Whitney, Rod Brind'Amour, Eric Staal, Teemu Selanne and Doug Weight.

Of course, Cullen was chirped by Whitney, one of the league's biggest jokesters. Cullen's "mentor" said he assumed Cullen was getting close to 1,000 games when he saw Cullen's gray facial hair during a recent game against Phoenix.

"It was a different experience," Cullen said. "I mean, the Wild did such a nice job and it was more than I ever would have expected. I was nervous that one, my middle boy, Wyatt, would run out on the ice; he's a little animal. And two, you see your family and you're so emotional, yet you're ingrained in preparing for a huge game and you want it to be about the team."

Cullen was beyond thankful, especially to St. Cloud State's Morris Kurtz. His alma mater's athletic director presented Cullen with a massive frame of pictures of Cullen from every team he has played for, including Moorhead High.

"[Kurtz] is just the best," Cullen said. "Nicest guy. He insisted on paying for all the food. Like, insisted. Every single year, they come to my [Cully's Kids] weekend with St. Cloud State gifts for all 150 golfers. I mean, grill covers or chairs or golf bags. He's just so cool, so classy."

Mueller's recovery

Bloomington native Peter Mueller played his 10th game for Colorado after missing more than a year with a concussion, failing to get a point in the 3-2 loss to the Wild. In 25 career games with the Avs, Mueller has 24 points.

"It's good getting back in the loop," said Mueller, 23. "Coming to the rink, you're an average hockey player now, which is nice. It was a long road back."


• With the Houston Aeros having two games during the NHL All-Star break, the Wild will re-assign a few players back to the minor leagues Wednesday.

• Wild 2010 second-round pick Jason Zucker, a standout at the University of Denver, attended Tuesday's game.

• With the trade deadline Feb. 27, Wild management held pro scouting meetings the past two days in Denver.

• The Wild's plane was significantly lighter on its return trip to Minnesota after the game. Because the Wild's next road game is Feb. 2 in Denver, the Wild left about 15 bags of equipment, underwear and shorts behind at Pepsi Center.

• Marek Zidlicky, Mike Lundin and Brad Staubitz were scratched for a second game in a row.

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NY Mets 6 Top 8th Inning
Miami 6
Philadelphia 6 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 3 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Minnesota 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Baltimore 3
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 2
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle 0 Top 1st Inning
Oakland 0
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 10:00
Chicago 0
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