Earlier today, Matt Cullen announced his retirement from the NHL after 21 seasons and over 1,500 games played. Cullen made the announcement in a special video message published by the Penguins twitter account.
It’s not especially surprising that Cullen decided to retire given his age, but the 2019-20 will be the first time in the 21st century that Matt Cullen is not on an NHL roster. Simply not seeing him on the ice might be a little jarring for some given his longevity in the league.
In his retirement announcement, Cullen emphasized that he was retiring as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, which stands out seeing as he only spent three seasons of his illustrious career with the franchise. Cullen was an integral part of the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup titles in 2016 & 2017 and had a profound effect on his fellow teammates while wearing the skating Penguin.
Following his announcement, several of his former Penguins teammates took to social media to express their gratitude to Cullen:
Congrats on your retirement Cully! What an honor it was #7 pic.twitter.com/OjYGVnu4zP— Jake Guentzel (@jakenbake20) July 10, 2019
Couldn’t have asked for a better teammate, person, and friend to share some unbelievable memories with! https://t.co/5dqTT2kNhy— Bryan Rust (@rustyyy_92) July 10, 2019
Can’t say enough about how fortunate I was to play with and learn from such a fantastic person. What Cully has accomplished over the (many, many) years is legendary. Can’t wait to see the haul of retirement gifts he got THIS time! https://t.co/LnvguQVjEn— Ian Cole (@ICole28) July 10, 2019
Cullen’s wife, Bridget
Thanks for taking me along for the ride.... love you and can’t put into words how proud I am of you❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/tiUeN1xkD4— Bridget Cullen (@brcullen) July 10, 2019
A few of is former teams also tweeted congratulations to Cullen on his retirement.
Congratulations to Matt Cullen on an incredible career!— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 10, 2019
Best of luck in retirement, Matt. pic.twitter.com/hQTDO4M1Aa
Congratulations to Matt Cullen on an INCREDIBLE career!— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) July 10, 2019
Enjoy your retirement! pic.twitter.com/21tXGI7hxX
Safe to say, Matt Cullen had a profound impact on all his teammates at every stop he made along the way during his incredible NHL career. I don’t think any in Pittsburgh will ever forget his time with team. Once a Penguin, always a Penguins.
Thanks for everything, Matt. Best wishes on everything that lies ahead.
Will update this post as needed as more players send well wishes to Cullen.