Cullen announced his retirement Wednesday. Cullen revealed in April that he was considering retirement, and after consulting with friends and family, he's decided to walk away from the game. The 42-year-old registered 20 points over 71 games with Pittsburgh during his final season of action, his lowest total of his 14-year career.
Cullen told reporters Thursday that he would talk it over with his family about whether to retire ahead of next season, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports. Given his leadership in the locker room, ability to kill penalties, and relationship with general manager Jim Rutherford, it's hard to imagine the Penguins wouldn't offer Cullen another one-year deal if he does decide to continue playing, especially considering he only cost the club $650,000 this season. The 42-year-old will likely take a few weeks to weigh his options. Regardless of his decision, Cullen will go down as a fan favorite, despite playing for just three seasons in the Steel City.
Cullen had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 3-1 win over the Hurricanes. The Penguins' fourth line of Cullen, Garrett Wilson and Adam Johnson were really dialed in on Sunday. Cullen has goals in two of his last three games, and seems to save his best for the end of the season and in the playoffs.
Cullen found the back of the net against the Rangers on Monday, ending his 27-game goal drought. Cullen is averaging 11:29 of ice time this season, with 2:17 of that coming shorthanded, so he isn't getting a lot of chances to find the back of the net. The 42-year-old's offensive contributions might be limited, but he continues to be a critical member of the penalty kill and a stabilizing locker room presence.
Cullen garnered a helper versus the Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Any offensive contributions coming out of Cullen are bonuses for the club, as the 42-year-old is on the team to provide veteran leadership in the locker room and to kill penalties on the ice. The center is averaging 11:32 of ice time this season and 2:09 of that comes in shorthanded situations. Invaluable to the franchise, Cullen won't offer much in terms of production for fantasy owners.
Last 7 Games
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