The Carolina Hurricanes have traded center Matt Cullen to Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Alexandre Picard and a 2010 2nd round draft pick.
The Senators get: A speedy, versatile center on pace for 55 points. Cullen will play on the second line, and may bump Mike Fisher to wing. He may also side down to play on the third line if the Senators want to keep Fisher at center. He can play the point on the power play as well, and will bump Ryan Shannon down the depth chart with the man advantage.
The Hurricanes get: A young defenseman capable of playing 18-20 minutes per night. He has had a bit of a rough season defensively, but he has some upside, and at 24 fits in perfectly with the youth movement that will begin very shortly in Carolina. The 2nd round pick is good value as well, and gives Carolina four picks in the top 60 for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
This move opens up a roster spot in Carolina for a young player. Brandon Sutter will take some of Cullen’s power play minutes. I see Peter Regin lining up with Cullen and Alex Kovalev on the second line, which would give the Senators a third line of Shannon, Fisher, and Nick Foligno (when healthy).
Players impacted positively, in order:
1. Peter Regin
2. Tlusty/Boychuk/Bowman (whoever gets the call)
4. Brandon Sutter
Players impacted negatively, in order:
1. Jonathan Cheechoo (kicked to the curb already – double hernia surgery has simply taken away his ability to be an NHL player)
2. Ryan Shannon
3. Mike Fisher (even if he keeps second line center spot, there will be fewer PP minutes to go around)