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Moorhead native Cullen reflects on 2014 season

Calgary Flames defenseman Shane O'Brien (55) and Nashville Predators center Matt Cullen (7) battle for the puck during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome in this Jan. 24, 2014, game. USA TODAY Sports/Sergei Belski

Moorhead’s Matt Cullen is gearing up for his final Cully’s kids celebrity weekend, which begins Friday with the golf tournament  at Oxbow Country Club.

As for Cullen’s playing career he just wrapped up his first year in Nashville.

Matt Cullen never wanted to leave the Minnesota Wild, but to the surprise of no one, he fit right in in Nashville. He scored 10 goals with had 29 assists last season.

“You know what it ended up being one of those experiences where you look back on it and it was really good for all of us. We missed the playoffs by only three points, which is always disappointing, but the last part of the season went really well,” he said.

Cullen showed his durability in Nashville, racking up 39 points, while playing in all but 5 games last season.

“I was really happy with the way my body was this year. I felt really good physically; probably as good as I’ve felt in a long time,” Cullen said.

This year, the Predators are hoping their first ever coaching change will make Cullen feel even younger.

Nashville hired Peter Laviolette, the same coach that led Cullen to a Stanley Cup back in 2006 with Carolina.

“I have a real good relationship with him and I really enjoy the style of play he plays, it’s a little bit more up-tempo. So, I’m actually really looking forward to it. It’s one of those shot in the arm type deals where you’re really looking forward to getting going again and getting back in shape for next season,” Cullen said.

Now the only question for Cullen is how many more summers he’ll be talking about “next season.”

“Obviously, when it’s the last year of your contract you don’t know if you might be done here,” he said. “I’m just going to really try and get in as good of shape as I can this summer and be ready for the season.

“It’s one of those deals where you just try to make the most of it and have as much fun as you can. If it goes well you think about another year and if not, you’re happy with a long career.”

It will be year number 17 for Cullen, but to him that’s just a number.

Cullen says he’s expecting Wild star Zach Parise and some other NHLers in attendance this weekend.

Jody Norstedt

Jody Norstedt is WDAY/WDAZ's weekend sports anchor and reporter. The Montevideo, MN native joined the WDAY/WDAZ team as WDAZ's weekend sports anchor in Grand Forks in June of 2008. As time went on, he transitioned to Fargo and is now the sports anchor for our weekend WDAY/WDAZ newscasts.  Jody has helped the WDAY sports staff earn numerous awards, including the 2015 MBJA Sevareid Award for Sportscast/Program for the team's submission of "First Down Friday". Jody said the highlight of his career, although it's so tough to pick only one, was covering the 2011 LPGA U.S. Open in Colorado Springs, CO when Oxbow's Amy Anderson held the lead as an 18-year old. He is also a proud graduate of St. Cloud State University and an avid college hockey fan, despite never playing the game himself. Go Huskies! Jody can relate to the heartache and the hope of Minnesota sports fans, he has been cheering for the Twins, Wild, Vikings, and Timberwolves his entire life. The thing he likes most about his job is the passion that this area has for sports and the opportunities to cover so many teams, athletes and outdoor activities across North Dakota and Minnesota. In 2012, he married his wife Amy (Unrau) who joined the WDAY/WDAZ team as a weekend news anchor/reporter. Together, the two have enjoyed volunteering in the community and providing viewers with the best local news and sports coverage in the Red River Valley.   Jody enjoys going for runs, being active in his church community, spending time with family & friends, travelling and the ups and downs of being a homeowner. If you have a sports story idea or a homeowner tip, send it his way.  You can "like" Jody's page on Facebook or follow him on twitter:@J_Norstedt

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