A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Monday, August 08, 2005

'Canes re-sign Cullen

The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed center Matt Cullen to a one-year deal.

Cullen, who signed a one-year deal just before the lockout, spent 2004-05 playing in Italy, where he potted 60 points (27/33) in 36 regular season games plus 22 points (8/14) in 18 playoff games for Cortina of the Italian league.

Although Cullen has never suited up for the Hurricanes, he has played for Coach Peter Laviolette. He was on the Lavy-coached Team USA at the 2004 IIHF championships in the Czech Republic.

We're not expecting big things out of Cullen. Maybe a 30-point (10/20) season. One thing that we really like about him, though, is that he's a guy who plays a smart game and isn't going to do anything to hurt us.

I expect this to be the first of many re-signings by the Canes today and the rest of the week.

Around the league, I wouldn't expect a lot of free agency signings today. There's still lots of speculation about Eric Lindros. There had been speculation (mostly fueled by Eklund) that he was set to sign with the Leafs for something nominal like $1.5M. There are significant concerns about his health after multiple concussions. There are also new concerns about his conditioning. The Leafs have already gambled on one cobweb-head (Allison) and one fat slob (O'Neill), so I think they probably wanted to avoid gambling on a guy that is both. I can't blame GMs for not blazing a bath to pound down his door, but his price has dropped, and as Eklund so lucidly put it:
Face it, when 88 is playing even at 75% he is capable of doing more than a majority of NHL players. And a year off does great things for concussions.

He deserves a chance, and wherever he ends up, I'm sure he'll do well.

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