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Matt Cullen to take player development role for Penguins' hockey operation staff

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After a 21-year career in the NHL, Matt Cullen has joined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ hockey operations department in a player development role, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

In his new role, Cullen will work closely with Rutherford, head coach Mike Sullivan and his coaching staff.

“Matt’s knowledge of the game and understanding of our organization will make him a valuable asset moving forward,” said Rutherford. “With over 20 years in the NHL and three Stanley Cups, we are certain he will continue to have a positive influence on our players.”

The 42-year old Cullen enjoyed an exceptional NHL career in which he recorded 731 regular-season points (266G-465A). Over the course of his 21 seasons, Cullen appeared in 1,516 games with Anaheim, Florida, Carolina, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Minnesota, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. His 1,516 games played is the second-most by an American-born player and the 19th-most in NHL history.

“Cully was a cerebral player with great leadership skills,” said Sullivan. “He is a natural coach who will offer great insight to our coaching staff and to our players. We look forward to adding him to our staff.”

A three-time Stanley Cup champion, the Virginia, Minnesota native played a vital role in helping Carolina win their franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2006, and then later won back-to-back championships with the Penguins in 2016 and 2017. In total, Cullen suited up for 132 career playoff games, registering 58 points (19G-39A).

In 225 regular-season games with the Penguins, Cullen recorded 36 goals, 47 assists and 83 points. He served as an alternate captain in parts of each of his three seasons with Pittsburgh, and his seven shorthanded goals during that span were more than any other Penguin.

Originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the second round (35th overall) of the 1996 NHL Draft, Cullen has recorded 10 or more goals in 16 of his 21 seasons, including a career-best 25 goals during the Hurricanes 2005-06 championship season. He has also eclipsed the 40-point plateau seven times.

A scoring threat in all situations, 55 of Cullen’s 266 career goals have come on the power play, while 21 have come shorthanded. His 21 shorthanded tallies are tied for the ninth-most by an American-born player in NHL history. 

Cullen has represented the United States internationally multiple times, including four appearances at the World Championship, where he won a bronze medal in 2004, and once at the World Junior Championship.

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