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Cullen signs one-year contract with Penguins

Three-time Stanley Cup champion returns to Pittsburgh for $650,000

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Matt Cullen signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. 

 

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"I'm really excited to be coming back," Cullen told the Penguins website. "It's a cool opportunity at my age to come back and have another chance at making a run with this team."

The 41-year-old forward had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 79 regular-season games with the Minnesota Wild last season and two points (one goal, one assist) in five Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He signed a one-year contract with Minnesota on Aug. 16 following two seasons with Pittsburgh.

"When I made the decision last year, I totally expected to finish at home then settle down and be home," Cullen said. "The season didn't go the way that I hoped on a number of levels. [My family] knows what a special situation we have in Pittsburgh and what a good fit it is in terms of hockey and also from a family standpoint.

"If you look at it philosophically, you only live one time. If you get an opportunity like this at age 41 with three boys that love the game of hockey and love what we had in Pittsburgh, my wife being supportive and competitive, we just looked at it again as an opportunity that was too good to pass up."

Cullen won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017, and with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006.

"There is still a lot of competitiveness in me, and a part of me that wants to prove that I can still play and be a difference-maker," he said.

The Anaheim Ducks selected Cullen in the second round (No. 35) of the 1996 NHL Draft. He has 711 points (259 goals, 452 assists) in 1,445 NHL games with the Wild, Penguins, Nashville Predators, Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, and Ducks, and 58 points (19 goals, 39 assists) in 128 playoff games.

"Matt can play left wing and center. So can [Riley] Sheahan," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We think [Derick] Brassard can too. He hasn't before, but [coach Mike Sullivan] has talked about using Brassard on the wing at different times. So [this] just gives the coaches a lot more options."
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