The Pittsburgh Penguins would like to retain 39-year old veteran forward Matt Cullen and wholeheartedly believe he has a lot of gas left in the tank despite his age.
Assistant general manager Bill Guerin said he’d like Cullen back this season over the weekend and didn’t rule out re-signing Cullen or defenseman Justin Schultz, who is unlikely to return
“[The door] isn’t closed, but they’re obviously getting some attention,” Rutherford said. “They’re going to have to make a decision soon.”
Cullen contemplated retirement before signing a one-year contract worth $800,000 on Aug. 6 with the eventual Stanley Cup champions.
Cullen pondered retirement for more than two weeks after winning the Stanley Cup for a second time on June 12 but decided he would play a 19th NHL season.
Guerin says he supports Cullen’s decision, whatever it may be.
“I sympathize with what he’s going through,” Guerin said. “I have a lot of respect for Matt. He’s great. But I’m so happy that he’s decided to play. It was the right choice because he has a lot of gas left in the tank.”
“I also relate to the fact that he’s said he wants to play,” Guerin said. “That’s the thing. I think you just don’t know until you get there, but when you’re that close, it’s also tough to keep it in perspective that once it’s gone, it’s gone. Because if you retire, if you quit, if you do whatever, six months down the road, you’re not going to be able to just say, ‘Oh, I’m going to just play again.’ No, you’re done.”