Wild center Matt Cullen surprised some when he decided to leave Pittsburgh in free agency to return to Minnesota. While there’s no indication a trade is imminent, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that a return to the Penguins could still happen depending on how Minnesota fares in the coming weeks before the trade deadline. He adds that while Cullen could draw interest from other contending teams, his preference would be to return to Pittsburgh.
Cullen’s second stint with his hometown team in Minnesota hasn’t gone as well as his first as the 41-year-old has recorded just four goals and seven assists in 49 games this season after putting back-to-back 30-plus point seasons with the Penguins. While Cullen isn’t an ideal fit for a third line pivot which is an area Pittsburgh is looking to improve, he would add some desired depth down the middle, presumably at a fairly inexpensive acquisition cost if Minnesota decides to sell in the coming weeks.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan:
- Still with the Penguins, winger Conor Sheary is dealing with a lower-body issue, the team announced on Twitter. Sheary was able to finish Tuesday’s game against San Jose despite the injury but there’s no word on whether or not he will be available for their next game on Friday against Washington. If he can’t play, winger Ryan Reaves will likely draw back in.
- The Islanders have transferred winger Shane Prince (upper-body injury) to injured reserve retroactive to January 18th, the team announced (Twitter link). The move was made in order to activate winger Andrew Ladd off IR as he returned to the lineup against Toronto. Prince last saw action on the 18th and because of the retroactive designation, he will be eligible to be activated at any time since more than seven days have passed from the injury.