Offseason Player Grade: Matt Cullen


GP   G    A    PTS    +/-    PIM
72   13  18     31     +4     30

2016-17 PLAYOFFS:

GP   G    A   PTS   +/-   PIM
25    2     7      9     -1     24


Matt Cullen was on the Penguins for three main reasons: character, faceoffs, and penalty killing. He did all of that and more. He was worth not promoting an AHL prospect for fourth line duties.


Other than mentoring young players, his regular season was meaningless, yet he put up is second straight 30 point season of his forties, and his fifth in seven seasons.

His highlight was probably scoring the game winning goal in the Stadium Series. His first career outdoor game ended in a 4-2 win against the Flyers.

In the playoffs, he was a beast again in the face off circle, finishing 9th in the league at 56.42%. Antoine Vermette was the only other player in the top 10 who made it out of the first round. Having gone the distance while maintaining a top 10 faceoff percentage means he was the most consistent in that stat for the longest stretch out of anyone in the NHL this post season.

He also had two game winning goals and two shorthanded goals, and even chipped in with two power play goals! Not something you would bank on, or even hope for, from Cullen.


Cullen will likely retire this summer, but I could see him as a future video analyst and development coach, hopefully in the Pittsburgh organization. 

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