Cullen would be a nice fit

Cullen would be a nice fit

Posted by TimS on Sun, 11/15/2009 - 12:06
In Sunday's paper, I wrote about the Blackhawks possibly having an interest in Carolina Hurricanes center Matt Cullen as a replacement for Dave Bolland. Who knows if this will happen, but the 32-year-old Cullen would be a nice fit playing on the second line. Things are going from bad to worse in Carolina, where the Hurricanes were off to a 2-12-4 start going into Sunday games, and changes are believed to be coming. Forget this year's stats (3 goals, 4 assists, minus-9) - Cullen is a responsible player with good offensive upside and does not come with a long-term contract. Cullen has a $2.875 million cap hit and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season. Before this year, Cullen averaged 19 goals and 45 points over the four previous seasons and was a plus player each year. The Hawks could put Bolland on long-term inured reserve and get some salary cap relief to add a player such as Cullen. Bolland currently is on injured reserve following back surgery and expected to miss 3-4 months. It's becoming clear the Hawks don't think Andrew Ebbett is the long-term answer at center on the second line. He played only eight minutes there against Toronto on Friday after starting the game between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg. Tomas Kopecky got a lot of Ebbett's shifts Friday. Versteeg is better at wing than center and so is Patrick Sharp. Which leaves the Hawks looking for a center. What might it take to get Cullen? It's tough to say because Carolina needs a lot of help. If it's a defenseman the Hurricanes want, let's put it this way: The only three Hawks untouchables are Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
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