ST. PAUL -- When Moorhead, Minn., native Matt Cullen decided to sign with his hometown Wild two summers ago, he knew playing for Minnesota could perhaps be the final chapter of a solid National Hockey League career.
Tonight, that career reaches quite a milestone as the veteran center, who has also skated for five other teams, will play in his 1,000th career NHL game when the Wild host the Sharks.
"It's a fun time to look back," Cullen said. "It's been a long ride, been a lot of fun and I'm pretty lucky to be where I am. It's exciting."
Cullen has been asked a few times in recent days about some of his favorite games. He said one stands out clearly in his mind.
"Oh yeah, Game 7 for sure, Stanley Cup Finals," Cullen said, referring to the Carolina Hurricanes' run to the Cup in 2006. "That's the ultimate for a player, and to win that at home, that's definitely the best memory."
Cullen also remembers his first shift in the League in 1997-98, when the Anaheim Ducks were still the Mighty Ducks.
"It's funny how fast it goes, but I've enjoyed it," Cullen said. "I love the game. It's been good to me. It's been more than I ever could have asked for."
Over his first 999 career games, Cullen has scored 191 goals and added 332 assists. With three shots on goal tonight, Cullen will also record his 2,000th NHL shot.