The Hurricanes have traded center Matt Cullen to the Ottawa Senators. In return, the Canes will get Sens defenseman Alexandre Picard and a second-round draft pick in the 2010 draft.
Picard, 24, has played in 45 games this season and has four goals and 11 assists.
Cullen, 32, ranks ninth on the Hurricanes’ all-time scoring list since the team’s relocation, with 181 points in 266 regular-season games. He ranks fourth among Hurricanes skaters this season with 40 points, and tied for second on the team with 28 assists.
"This is a hard day," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "It's a hard day for me, for the organization and for Matt. I thank Matt for everything he did for us. It's a tough day to say goodbye to him."
Cuilen will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and could re-sign with the Canes.
"It will be a whole new day come July 1," Rutherford said.
Rutherford called Picard a good, young defenseman who could "become a regular part of the Hurricanes' blue line."
The Canes picked up a second-round pick in a recent trade that sent Nic Wallin to the San Jose Sharks. Rutherford said the Canes might be able to parlay some of the second-round picks into a first-round selection.
Rutherford didn't rule out trading another defenseman or two.
It won't take long for Cullen to return to the RBC Center. The Canes face the Senators on March 4 in their first home game after the Olympic break.