Best Aero (2004)
Mark Cullen Aeros center Mark Cullen has had his share of tough breaks: a broken neck while at Colorado College, a broken ankle in the 2003 playoff run and a badly separated shoulder that caused him to miss two months this past season. More serious was the diagnosis in September 2003 of skin cancer, which eventually spread to his lymph nodes. Through it all, Cullen has kept on -- a solid assist man on one of the team's top lines, and at 25 years old, one who still has a good shot making it to the NHL. And while he's currently cancer-free, his brush with the disease awakened a new aspect to the easygoing personality he's always had. Now he's the team's most enthusiastic visitor to kids in area hospitals, he's leading a Memorial Hermann campaign to raise awareness of skin-cancer dangers, and he was named the American Hockey League's Man of the Year in 2004. Aeros fans are waiting eagerly to see what he can do in a full season.