Monday, December 3, 2007

Welcome Back Matt

With the Rangers taking on the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, Steve Zipay at Newsday gives us a look at what Matt Cullen's been up to this year...

"...Tomorrow, Matt Cullen and the Canes visit the Garden, in the center's first trip since being traded in the offseason. Cullen has denied asking for a trade to unshackle him from the four-year deal that brought him to the Rangers in the summer of '06, but other sources have said he and his family weren't totally comfortable in New York.

Anyway, the move back to Carolina has really worked out for him, if not the Rangers, who shed his $2.8-million annual salary but received only Andrew Hutchinson (minors), Joe Barnes (injured) and a third round pick this summer in the deal. Cullen, 31, a likeable Minnesota native, had 16 goals and 25 assists last season, and this year already has nine goals and 19 assists in 27 games..."

...while Cullen didn't live up to his expectations on Broadway I don't necessarily feel it was all his fault. The Rangers never used him properly on the power play by not putting him on the point until late in the year. They also faltered by thinking he could be a second line center when he clearly is only a third.

...however, like Zipay says, he was likable and I never had any animosity towards him. Glad to see he's playing, but I hope he struggles tonight.

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