Recently retired Cullen joins Penguins front office

Recently retired Cullen joins Penguins front office

Three-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Cullen, who retired last month after 21 seasons in the NHL, has been hired as part of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey operations department, the team announced Thursday.

The move, announced by general manager Jim Rutherford, will be a player development position — with Cullen working with Rutherford and head coach Mike Sullivan.

“Matt’s knowledge of the game and understanding of our organization will make him a valuable asset moving forward,” Rutherford said in a statement. “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.”

Cullen, who was the oldest player in the NHL last season, retired on July 10 at the age of 42. The forward played his final season with the Penguins, when he had 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 71 regular-season games.

“Cully was a cerebral player with great leadership skills,” Sullivan said. “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.”

Cullen’s first stint with the Penguins was from 2015-17, when he helped Pittsburgh to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. Cullen also hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, when he scored a career-high 25 goals.

He ranks 19th in NHL history — and second among U.S.-born players — in games played (1,516). The Minnesota native played for eight teams, accumulating 731 points (266 goals, 465 assists). Cullen was a second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 1996 draft, making his NHL debut during the 1997-98 season.

—Field Level Media

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