The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed center Matt Cullen to a one-year, $1 million contract, the team announced Wednesday.
The deal was a long time coming for the soon-to-be 40-year-old. He had said early in the offseason that he’d love to return to the club, while others like the Minnesota Wild were rumored to have interest. The new deal is a slight raise over the $800,000 deal he played under last year when he centered the team’s fourth line to a Stanley Cup championship.
That deal was an awfully team-friendly for a player who is solid off the dot, plays a smart defensive game and contributed 16 goals and 16 assists, playing all 82 games for the Pens.
Cullen, a Minnesota native, is an anomaly, continuing to play productive hockey despite his advanced age. He was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks back in 1996 (35th overall) and has played 18 seasons wearing the sweater of the Ducks, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and the Pens.
His return is a nice boon for the cap-strapped club that should be right at the cap once they move Pascal Dupuis’s $3.75 million deal to long-term injured reserve.