Speculation surrounded Matt Cullen yesterday indicating that he may have taken part in his last game with the Carolina Hurricanes. A trade was expected and this morning, the experienced center was traded to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Alexandre Picard and a second-round pick in 2010.
With 40 points in 60 games this season, the 33-year-old will bring some secondary scoring, assist in the face-off dot and add strong play on the Senators penalty kill which is currently eighth best in the league.
Our friends at Canes Country had this to say about Cullen:
Matt Cullen was a fan favorite in Carolina and was instrumental in the team's playoff run last season as well as the Stanley Cup Championship in 2006. He will be missed.
Going the other way is Picard who will suit up for his fourth NHL club in five years. With 15 points in just 45 games, there's promise that this young rearguard will develop into a puck-moving offensive defenseman. Should his stay in Carolina not work out, there's still the second-round selection which can bring up a talented asset.
Winning eight of their last ten games, the Hurricanes have been playing better hockey but re-development was going to occur with this organization after their horrible start. Meanwhile, Ottawa has lost once in 14 games to grab a lead in the Northeast Division and the addition of Cullen will give them a vital piece for a playoff run.