Flyers ink Cullen to one-year deal

The Philadelphia Flyers, parent club of the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with center Mark Cullen.

“Mark Cullen is an extremely smart, skilled hockey player,” said Flyers assistant general manager Paul Holmgren. “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."

Cullen, 27, registered 29 goals and 39 assists for 68 points in 54 AHL games for the Norfolk Admirals in 2005-06. He made his NHL debut last season as well, finishing with seven goals and nine assists in 29 games for the Chicago Blackhawks.

He won the Fred T. Hunt Award as the AHL player who best exemplified the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.

A native of Moorhead, Minn., Cullen was a member of the Houston Aeros’ 2003 Calder Cup championship team during his rookie season.

The Flyers on Wednesday also re-signed goaltender Antero Niittymaki, the MVP of the 2005 Calder Cup Playoffs. Niittymaki was 23-15-6 in 46 appearances for the Flyers in 2005-06, and also led Finland to a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics.