Fantasy Impact – Minnesota has signed free agent center Matt Cullen to a three-year contract worth $3.5 million annually.
The Wild get: A speedy two-way pivot capable of logging minutes in all situations. He is a threat on the penalty kill and is also adept at playing the point with the man advantage. Minnesota had a huge hole to fill at center behind Mikko Koivu, and Cullen is the guy they chose to fill it with. He has a cup ring and a wealth of playoff experience, but he may be a bit out of place on the second line – ideally he is a guy you want on your third line.
It will be interesting to see if he can rise to the occasion playing for his home team. His career high at the NHL level is 49 points, and he has averaged 46 over the past five seasons – I’d expect him to finish somewhere around those two numbers.
Fantasy Players impacted:
This move helps Minnesota’s depth scoring wingers, as after Koivu the roster was a huge question mark before this signing. Cullen and Martin Havlat are both speedsters and would form a solid pairing on the second line behind Koivu, Andrew Brunette, and Antti Miettinen. PM Bouchard is a wildcard up front as he has yet to recover from a concussion he sustained well over a year ago. Latendresse could slot in on the left side with Cullen and Havlat. Cullen will see time on the first power play unit as well, alongside one of Brent Burns and Marek Zidlicky (my money is on Zidlicky).
Fantasy Players this helps, in order:
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:
1. James Sheppard
2. Brent Burns