The Pittsburgh Penguins continued to build their depth in the bottom six on Thursday by signing free agent center Matt Cullen to a one-year contract worth $800,000.
Cullen, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound native of Virginia, Minnesota, spent the last two seasons with the Nashville Predators. In 2013-14, he scored 10 goals and recorded 29 assists in. In 2014-15, a pair of injuries held him to just 62 games played, but he still was able to score 7 goals and tally 18 assists.
Cullen can play center and wing and played in a variety of roles for the Predators. He averaged 48 seconds of shorthanded ice time and 29 seconds of power play ice time per game. As a center, he finished second on the Predators by winning 54% of his faceoffs.
For the Penguins, Cullen should be expected to slot in as a fourth line center or left-winger and, at age 38, as a veteran presence in the locker room.
“I know personally how good he is with other players,” general manager Jim Rutherford said. “He has always been a guy that takes time to help his teammates.”
Cullen had previously played under Rutherford in Carolina from 2005 to 2010. With Cullen under contract, the Penguins now have 12 forwards inked to one-way contracts for the upcoming season.
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