The Philadelphia Flyers announced that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with 5'11", 190-pound center Mark Cullen, according to club Assistant General Manager Paul Holmgren. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
"Mark Cullen is an extremely smart, skilled hockey player," said Holmgren in making the announcement. "He is a guy who we think will upgrade the overall skill on our team and make us a better team. We feel that he is a player who is just on the cusp of becoming a really solid player under the new rules. We think that he will fit in very nicely with our team."
"I am just really excited to be a part of the Flyers Organization," said Cullen. "There is such a storied history with the Flyers and to become part of that is going to be great. I am really thrilled. I am a smaller guy. Since the rules have changed, it has helped a lot of guys in my situation. Now I can use my speed and quickness more without being held and things like that. That is the main reason how it (the rule changes) has helped me."
Cullen, 27, recorded seven goals and nine assists for 16 points and two penalty minutes in 29 regular season games for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, his first season in the NHL. His +7 plus/minus rating was second on the Blackhawks. In 54 regular season games for the Blackhawks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals, he registered 29 goals and 39 assists for 68 points and 48 penalty minutes. He was second on the team in goals (29), assists (39) and points (69). Cullen won the Fred T. Hunt Award for the 2005-06 season as the AHL player who best exemplified the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.
A native of Moorhead, Minnesota, Cullen was a member of the U.S. National Team for the 2006 IIHF World Championships and recorded three points (1G,2A) in seven games.
He was signed as a free agent by Chicago on August 4, 2005, after playing three seasons with the Houston Aeros (AHL). In four AHL seasons with Houston and Norfolk (2002-03 through 2005-06), Cullen has registered 71 goals and 116 assists for 187 points and 122 penalty minutes in 243 regular season games.
Cullen was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Wild on April 8, 2002 after playing four seasons for the Colorado College Tigers of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. In four seasons with Tigers from 1998-99 through 2001-02, Cullen recorded 167 points (53G,114A) in 153 career games. He was named to the WCHA First All-Star Team following the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons and to the NCAA West Second All-American Team after the 2000-01 season.