Matt Cullen, who had been the oldest player in the NHL last season, retired Wednesday at age 42.
The forward played 21 seasons in the NHL, including last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he had 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 71 regular-season games.
“It had been an emotional time, but that I knew it was coming,” Cullen informed NHL.com. “It just felt right, and I was actually at peace with everything when it was over.
“I felt as though it was just right to retire in Pittsburgh with everything that the company had given me and done for me. I am so glad I finished at Pittsburgh and came back. I wouldn’t trade that last year for anything.”
When he helped Pittsburgh, cullen’s first stint with the Penguins was from 2015 to 2017. When he scored a career-high 25 targets cullen hoisted the Stanley Cup in 2006.
He ranks 19th in NHL history — and secondly one of U.S.-born gamers — in matches played (1,516). The Minnesota native played for eight teams, accumulating 731 points (266 goals, 465 assists). Cullen was a second-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 1996 draft, making his NHL debut during the 1997-98 season.
“I’m grateful for every single match, every moment, this game has given me. … It’s difficult to think this is the ending, but here I am,” Cullen said.
“I may have skated my final shift, but I’m not hanging up my skates just yet. For me to have the ability to take (my sons) into the rink and play with them on the ice, as a dad, that is as good as it gets.”
–Field Level Media