On Monday, Cullimore signed with the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). Cullimore will join the team for training camp next month. The Roosters’ season begins on September 16. He joins goaltender Manny Legace and former Rockford IceHogs’ defenseman Prestin Ryan on the Iserlohn team. Iserlohn [IEC] missed the playoffs last season and finished 12th out of 14 DEL teams. Cullimore turns 39 in December.
While re-signing Cullimore was never a sure-thing, this does leave an important hole on the IceHogs’ defense.
Right now their top five is Ryan Stanton, Brian Connelly, Joe Lavin, Dylan Olsen and Shawn Lalonde. With the exception of Stanton, Rockford’s defense, as currently constructed, is at best modest in their responsibilities south of the offensive blue line. Simon Danis-Pepin is in the mix as well, but his skating was still barely AHL-level in April. Rockford will need a veteran shut-down defenseman. Connelly can now be considered a vet on the offensive side, but he can’t mind Lalonde in the defensive zone and you really shouldn’t count on Olsen to do that just yet, at least to start the season.