Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Cullen Set to Return to Pens

We can now officially add centre Matt Cullen back to the Pittsburgh Penguins' roster list and projections, as the player and team have come to terms on a basic 1-year, $1 million deal for the 2017 season.

Cullen is a 2-time Stanley Cup winner, with Carolina and most recently with Pittsburgh in June, is a veteran of nearly 1,300 games and should be able to still provide depth down the middle, in a bottom six role, but still quite serviceable.  Last year, Cullen played in all 82 games, scoring 16 goals and 32 points, and was right in the midst of the pool worthy forwards, ranking 184th.

Of course, with age, the point projections will take a bit of a tumble and Cullen, 39, should continue to trend downwards, as his role diminishes and his ice-time falls away, but there is still some expectation out there for him and I still think 30 points is a very attainable number for him, especially given that the Penguins are home to many injury prone players and his role could improve through injury.  I wouldn't go too crazy in trying to pick him up too early, rather he would be your last forward in the draft, if anything, but I don't think he could possibly hurt your pool team in that role.

Player Pos 16/17 Proj Rookie
Sidney Crosby F 90 N
Evgeni Malkin F 80 N
Kris Letang D 75 N
Phil Kessel F 65 N
Marc-Andre Fleury G 55 N
Patric Hornqvist F 55 N
Matt Murray G 45 Y
Chris Kunitz F 40 N
Carl Hagelin F 40 N
Nick Bonino F 40 N
Matt Cullen F 30 N
Trevor Daley D 30 N
Olli Maatta D 30 N
Eric Fehr F 25 N
Justin Schultz D 25 N
Brian Dumoulin D 20 N
Derrick Pouliot D 20 N
Conor Sheary F 15 N
Bryan Rust F 15 N
Ian Cole D 15 N
Tom Kuhnhackl F 10 N
Scott Wilson F 5 Y
Oskar Sundqvist F 5 Y
Kevin Porter F 5 N
Dustin Jeffrey F 5 N
David Warsofsky D 5 N
Stuart Percy D 5 Y

Salary CapThe Penguins and their cap situation is going to rely heavily on the Long Term Injured Reserve relief, as they gone over the cap ceiling by about $3.25 million and they can use the $3.75 million that Pascal Dupuis has left on his current deal for the season to help them out.  Obviously, taking a $1 million deal was one of the only ways that Cullen was going to re-sign with the team this season.

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