Moorhead native Cullen reflects on 2014 season
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.