The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed veteran center Matt Cullen to a one-year deal worth $1MM, as reported on the team’s website. As of last week, Cullen was believed to be entertaining offers from at least four teams but evidently chose to remain with the club with whom he just won the Stanley Cup championship.
A veteran of 18 NHL campaigns, Cullen had a resurgent year for Pittsburgh, scoring 16 goals and 32 points while appearing in all 82 games. He was also a key contributor during the Penguins Cup run, netting another four goals and six points in the postseason. Cullen provided tremendous value after converting a PTO into a one-year, $800K deal with the Penguins.
It’s likely Cullen will again reprise his role in the club’s bottom-six, providing a fair amount of offense while also serving time on the penalty kill and taking critical, defensive zone draws. Last season, Cullen led all Penguins forwards averaging 2:32 of shorthanded ice time per contest. He also won an impressive 55.7% of his faceoffs, a figure good enough for 16th overall among players who took at least 500 draws.
The signing does appear to put the Penguins even further over the cap than they already were which suggests GM Jim Rutherford will have some work to do to get the club cap compliant before the regular season begins.