July 17, 2007
Raleigh — Center Matt Cullen, who played a key role in the Carolina Hurricanes' 2006 Stanley Cup championship, is coming back for a second stint with the club, officials said Tuesday.
The Canes traded defenseman Andrew Hutchinson, forward Joe Barnes and a third-round pick in the 2008 NHL draft to the New York Rangers in exchange for Cullen, Carolina President and General Manager Jim Rutherford said.
"Matt was an important member of our championship team in 2006, and we obviously know he is an excellent fit for our style of play," Rutherford said in a statement. "He is extremely popular in our dressing room, and his speed and skill will be important assets going forward."
Cullen, 30, left the Canes last summer and signed as a free agent with the Rangers. He became expendable after the Rangers picked up free-agent centers Scott Gomez from the New Jersey Devils and Chris Drury from the Buffalo Sabres this summer.
Cullen ranked sixth among Rangers skaters in scoring in 2006-07, with 16 goals and 25 assists in 80 games. He was tied for the team lead in short-handed goals with three, and he had one goal and three assists in 10 playoff games for the Rangers.