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

Los Angeles - R. Hernandez 12:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - F. Doubront
Detroit - M. Scherzer 12:05 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Philadelphia - J. Williams 3:05 PM
Oakland - D. Pomeranz
Toronto - M. Stroman 3:05 PM
NY Yankees - C. Capuano
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
Colorado - E. Butler
Boston - R. De La Rosa 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Milwaukee - M. Garza 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Washington - J. Zimmermann 6:10 PM
Miami - J. Cosart
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cleveland - T. House 6:10 PM
Minnesota - T. May
Seattle - C. Young 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Cincinnati - M. Leake 6:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Wacha
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 14 2nd Qtr 15:00
Rice 7
Troy 0 2nd Qtr 14:30
(13) Georgia 21
Georgia Tech 3 2nd Qtr 11:52
Virginia Tech 6
Eastern Mich 0 2nd Qtr 11:04
(11) Michigan State 34
Iowa 7 2nd Qtr 6:42
Pittsburgh 7
Bowling Green 10 1st Qtr 0:00
(19) Wisconsin 14
Maryland 7 1st Qtr 9:39
Syracuse 3
Tulane 7 1st Qtr 7:03
Duke 7
Hawaii 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Vancouver FC 4:00 PM
Portland
Houston 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
New England 6:30 PM
Columbus
San Jose 6:30 PM
Montreal
Seattle 6:30 PM
Red Bull New York
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close