Matt Cullen
Matt Cullen
42-Year-Old CenterC
Pittsburgh Penguins
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Cullen returned to Minnesota last year and chipped in 22 points in 79 games while centering the fourth line, his lowest scoring total since he suited up for only 56 games with Florida in 2003-04. The 41-year-old refuses to hang up his skates, inking a one-year deal with the Penguins in the offseason, and while he's no longer much of an offensive threat, his experience could prove useful for Pittsburgh in a similar role to the one he filled with the Wild. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $650,000 contract with the Penguins in July of 2018.
Notches assist
CPittsburgh Penguins
February 27, 2019
Cullen garnered a helper versus the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Any offensive contributions coming out of Cullen are bonuses for the club, as the 42-year-old is on the team to provide veteran leadership in the locker room and to kill penalties on the ice. The center is averaging 11:32 of ice time this season and 2:09 of that comes in shorthanded situations. Invaluable to the franchise, Cullen won't offer much in terms of production for fantasy owners.
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2018–19 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    11:31
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:02
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    2:16
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2016–17
13:55
0:23
2:20
2017–18
11:54
0:07
0:52
2018–19
11:31
0:02
2:16
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Cullen
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NHL Barometer: Risers & Fallers
December 11, 2017
Jan Levine explores this week's risers and fallers, including Blue Jackets forward Artemi Panarin, who's fresh off a five-assist gem in New Jersey last Friday.
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May 3, 2017
Chris Morgan breaks down Wednesday's two-game slate, looking at which players to target and avoid in the Pens/Caps matchup in the absence of Sidney Crosby.
Stanley Cup Playoffs: Postseason Preview
April 10, 2017
Jan Levine previews the Stanley Cup playoffs, picking each round, as Alex Ovechkin looks to put the Capitals on his back en route to a title.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2014
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2012
2011
2010
2009
2008
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2006
2005
2004
Cullen opted to extend his career by another season, but will head back to his native Minnesota after signing a one-year, $1 million contract. Heading into the 2017-18 campaign, the 40-year-old figures to fill the same fourth-line role with the Wild that he had with the Penguins. The savvy veteran averaged an impressive 2:20 of ice time shorthanded last year and is capable of helping the team improve its already impressive 82.9 penalty-kill percentage. Despite concerns about his age, Cullen should be able to register a third straight 30-plus point year so long as he stays out of the training room.
Fresh off a Stanley Cup win with the Penguins, Cullen seems reinvigorated, though he’s only suited for a fourth-line role. Cullen’s 16 goals last year marked his highest total in seven years, and it’s unlikely the 39-year-old will be able to get anywhere near that total after averaging eight goals in three seasons prior. He remains a solid centerman and penalty killer, and anything more than that is a bonus.
After laying dormant for most of the season, Cullen came alive down the stretch with four goals and 11 assists in his last 12 games, allowing him to post a respectable 39 points. Otherwise, it was a forgettable campaign for Cullen -- his first in a Preds uniform -- after he spent the previous three seasons in Minnesota. Cullen occupied a checking-line role for most of last season, a designation he is likely to fill once again this season, as the team’s offseason additions provide more options for the top two lines. Cullen has never cracked the 50-point barrier in his career, and is not likely to do so now that he has reached the ripe old age of 36. He makes for a decent late-round selection in deeper fantasy drafts, but not much more.
Cullen, who signed a two-year, $7 million deal with Nashville in July, had seven goals this past year with Minnesota after averaging 12 goals the previous three seasons. At 36 years old, Cullen's best days are probably behind him. But he's still a very versatile forward who should be a valuable addition to the Preds' dismal power play. He is expected to open the season as the Preds' third-line center, behind Mike Fisher and David Legwand.
Cullen will turn 36 in November and hasn't been much of a scoring threat since his arrival in Minnesota, posting consecutive seasons of 39 and 35 points while averaging 13 goals. Cullen is used in a variety of situations, including at the faceoff dot, but the influx of good, young talent in the land of lakes will likely reduce his opportunities for offense. He's on the downside of a solid career and he’s more valuable to the Wild than on your roster.
Special teams is the name of the game for Cullen. Last season more than half of his 39 points were crafted on the man advantage, and the veteran journeyman had four shorthanded goals to boot. He was also able to reach the impressive milestone of 500 career points (181 G, 319 A) through 958 games. Fantasy owners won't appreciate his week-to-week inconsistency, but Cullen has finished in or around the 40-point range for six consecutive seasons. That makes him a safe third-or-fourth fantasy forward in most league types.
Cullen should help fill a void for the Wild who've lacked a veteran center the past two seasons. He's got a nice all-around game as he gets time on the power play, has good defensive skills and gets enough shots to post 40 to 50 points. If Pierre-Marc Bouchard doesn't return from a concussion, his profile on the offensive end could increase.
Cullen typically hangs around the 40-point total for a season’s worth of work. In 2008-09 he was an impressive plus-11, and really made the most of his shots based on a career-best shot percentage of 15.8. There are plenty of centers who’ll inflict more damage to your fantasy opponent, but Cullen is a reliable depth option for the back end of your rotation.
Cullen is likely to benefit from Carolina's more offensive-minded blue line corps. Expect him to break through the 50-point barrier for the first time.
We expect Cullen's return to the Hurricanes to be relatively seamless, given the fact that the Carolina roster is largely intact from the 2005-06 season. His numbers should improve slightly from last year's totals, but probably won't get to the level of his last season in a Carolina sweater (25-24-49).
Coming off a career year in points (49) with the Hurricanes last season, the Rangers acted quickly to secure him to a four year deal to be their second line centerman. Depending on how quickly he meshes with new linemates Prucha and Shanahan, Cullen could be poised for a serviceable fantasy season.
Cullen is a role player who probably does not have enough value to warrant consideration at center.
More Fantasy News
Hard work pays off
CPittsburgh Penguins
February 13, 2019
Cullen picked up an assist on Bryan Rust's shorthanded goal Wednesday, helping Pittsburgh defeat the Oilers, 3-1.
ANALYSIS
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Slides into third-line role
CPittsburgh Penguins
January 31, 2019
Cullen was bumped up to the Pens' third line against Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
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Riding three-game point streak
CPittsburgh Penguins
January 4, 2019
Cullen scored a goal and an assist in Friday's 4-0 win over the Jets.
ANALYSIS
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Two points since return
CPittsburgh Penguins
December 24, 2018
Cullen has two points and 10 shots on net in seven games since returning from a lengthy lower-body injury.
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Taken off IR
CPittsburgh Penguins
December 12, 2018
Cullen (lower body) has been activated off injured reserve ahead of Wednesday's matchup with Chicago, per the NHL media site.
ANALYSIS
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