The Minnesota Wild have a few items at the top of their to-do list in terms of their free agents, with at least three mainstays from their lineup set to hit the market. The future of two of those free agents is unclear, with Pierre-Marc Bouchard an unrestricted free agent, and Cal Clutterbuck holding restricted status.
One player whose future is likely very clear is that of Matt Cullen. Like Bouchard, Cullen is an unrestricted free agent. However, unlike Bouchard, Cullen is going to be a top priority for the Wild.
Cullen was one of the most consistent offensive players for the Wild during the 2013 season. His 27 points during the season were fourth most on the club, third among forwards, while his 20 assists were tied for the third highest total on the team. His veteran presence proved to be key for several of the young players on the club, including Jason Zucker.
At the age of 36, Cullen is past his prime. He’s never been a tremendous player, but has always been good for around 40 points, providing secondary scoring. Now that the Wild have some elite offensive talent on their roster, that secondary scoring becomes even more important.
In the postseason, Cullen was one of the only consistent players for the Wild, who were eliminated in five games. He finished the series with three points, all assists. He was an absolute wizard in the faceoff circle, going 59 percent at the dot for the series.
When he was out of the lineup during the regular season for the Wild, they had trouble finding wins. He missed six games during the season, only one of which the Wild managed to get two points out of. On a young team in need of that secondary offense, Cullen will be back. It will probably be at a pay cut, and only for one, maybe two years, but he will be a priority for the Minnesota Wild this summer.