Pittsburgh Penguins: Matt Cullen’s Signing Increases Need For Centre

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Matt Cullen
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 11: Matt Cullen /

While there was an idea that former Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cullen would re-sign with the team without retiring, he instead signed with the Minnesota Wild.

The Pittsburgh Penguins were left this offseason wondering if the 40-year-old would retire. If not, there was hope that perhaps he would come back and re-sign with the Pens.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins already have been looking far and wide for a new third line centreman. After Nick Bonino left as a free agent for Nashville, that role suddenly became the most important concern for the team. Many hoped that if anything, a cheap Matt Cullen signing would ease the loss. But alas, even he escaped.

Well now we really have to push for that centreman before time runs out.


The season’s just over a month away. Pre-season is right around the corner. This offseason is wrapping itself up and the Penguins still have a to-do list. That’s why this is important.

Matt Cullen was an option. Not the best option, but like I said, he was a backup option if anything. Now that he’s gone, we’re left without a legitimate third line centreman AND without a plan B. The situation seems to be getting worse.

Other teams would still be looking towards trading a centreman to us at this time. While that is still a plan, our easier options have faded away. While we wait, options like Matt Cullen are escaping one by one and we need to do something while the crop’s ready for picking.

Another Look at Our Options

Let’s just see who we can choose for our third line centre still. Now that Matt Cullen’s gone, the leading contenders are still Toronto’s Tyler Bozak, Carolina’s Jordan Staal, and Colorado’s Matt Duchene.

Now if i’m being real here, I don’t think we’ll be able to get Staal or Duchene considering how tight on cap space we are. That leaves us with Bozak. He can be our third line centre and his cap hit wouldn’t be too hard to acquire if we send some money the other way.

However, it seems like Toronto is looking at options of their own. Rumours have been speculating that the Leafs may be interested in Rangers defenceman Nick Holden, while the Rangers may find Bozak a nice fit.

Next: Pens Labyrinth Daily: August 17

If the Pens really want Bozak, they need to get to work. If the Rangers make a play before us, we could be at a bigger loss. So please, let’s not make this another “one that got away” scenario as Matt Cullen just created for us. Let’s work towards next season soon.