Defenseman Will Cullen is stepping away from the team for personal reasons, ‘and that could 100 percent be for the rest of the year’, coach Chris Bergeron said before Friday’s game in Denver.
Cullen, a graduate senior, transferred from Bowling Green to Miami last off-season after racking up six goals and 19 assists in 28 games for the Falcons and being named to the WCHA’s all-first team in 2020-21.
“Obviously, Barry (Schutte), myself, Jimmy Spratt knew that boy, and it hasn’t worked out,” Bergeron said. “And not only has it not worked out for Will, he hasn’t played the type of hockey that we know he’s capable of playing. So something is wrong, and with that being said, the best thing to to is take care of Will and take a leave and get yourself right. My mind says that that’s going to end up with him leaving the program, but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Bergeron added that Cullen has ‘become uncomfortable and not himself’.
Expected to quarterback Miami’s second power play unit, Cullen is 0-3-3 in seven games, having missed three contests with a lower-body injury.
Cullen still technically has another year of eligibility because of the COVID exemption, but at age 25 he may pursue his professional prospects.
He played under Bergeron and Schutte at BGSU in 2018-19, the year before the coaching duo took over at Miami.