After 21 seasons in the NHL, Matt Cullen is finally calling it quits. The 42-year old forward has announced his retirement through a video essay posted on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Twitter account. In it, Cullen examines all of the “lasts” he experienced in his career, including the final season with the Penguins in 2018-19.
Beloved by nearly everyone he came in contact to throughout his career, Cullen will actually go down as one of the most successful American-born players in history. A three-time Stanley Cup champion, Cullen trails only Chris Chelios in games played by Americans and ranks 19th overall with 1,516 regular season contests. He added another 132 playoff contests including those long title runs with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 and Penguins in 2016 and 2017.
While he was never a top offensive player, Cullen still made quite an impact on the game. A defensively responsible center, he still contributed at least 30 points in 14 of his seasons with a career-high of 49 in 2005-06. He finishes his career with 731 regular season points.
It’s been a long time coming for Cullen, who has flirted with retirement for the last several years. After a season that saw him record just 20 points and be limited to just fourth-line minutes, it was time to hang up the skates and move on to the next phase in his career.