clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Matt Cullen: ultimate hockey dad

New, comment

“Dad, where you gonna shoot on this Vasilevskiy guy? He’s been really hot. You gotta shoot blocker side. That’s what we think.”

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There's being a hockey dad, and then there's being a dad who plays in the NHL. Or, in Matt Cullen's case, there's both.

Cullen wasn't a guarantee to play in the NHL this year. In fact, when his season ended a year ago, he thought that might have been it. At least until Jim Rutherford came calling, looking for an experienced veteran presence for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Cullen agreed to it.

One reason he was thinking of hanging up his skates? It wasn't fair to keep moving his kids from city to city.

A reason he kept going? Because his kids loved it - and besides, getting to meet Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and, as it turns out, Mario Lemieux? That's something you can't pass up.

As he explains through his Players' Tribune piece, Cullen's boys are as into it as he is. They stretch together. They give him scouting reports and advice. They keep meticulous track of the standings. Even Phil Kessel is in on it.

They're basically living the ultimate hockey dream - and it's gone on right until the end. They probably weren't able to appreciate Cullen's Stanley Cup win 10 years ago, but this is a run the entire family can get in on.