RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -The Carolina Hurricanes acquired center Matt Cullen - a key piece in their 2006 Stanley Cup title run - from the New York Rangers on Tuesday in exchange for defenseman Andrew Hutchinson along with a prospect and a draft pick.
Cullen tallied career-highs with 25 goals and 49 points as the Hurricanes' third-line center in 2005-06, including four goals and 14 assists in the playoffs. But Cullen signed a four-year deal with the Rangers as a free agent last summer, finishing with 16 goals and 25 assists in New York.
Meanwhile, the Hurricanes struggled to fill Cullen's spot and failed to make the playoffs.
Cullen's future with New York grew unclear when the Rangers signed centers Chris Drury from Buffalo and Scott Gomez from New Jersey earlier this month.
Hutchinson had three goals and 11 assists for Carolina, which also sent forward Joe Barnes and a third-round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to the Rangers. Barnes, a third-round pick of the Hurricanes in 2005, had two goals and an assist in 15 games with Albany of the AHL last year.