By now you hopefully have read my story on Matt Cullen re-signing with the Penguins for one year, $1 million. A bargain, if you ask me.
If you’ve followed Cullen at all, or especially if you covered him, the man is incredibly expansive in his answers, one of the best quotes in the Penguins dressing room.
I talked to Cullen for about six minutes Wednesday night. The Penguins do a really awesome thing where they make new acquisitions available to the local media in separate phone calls for about that length of time. We all try not to push out of respect for the player’s time.
Matt Cullen lifts the Stanley Cup after Game 6 against the San Jose Sharks. (Peter Diana/Post-Gazette)
In our chat, we hit on a few topics that didn’t make the aforementioned story:
• You saw Cullen eating Lucky Charms out of the Stanley Cup with his kids, right? Then Marc-Andre Fleury did it, Kris Letang and others. Cullen started his own mini-trend. I asked him about that.
“It’s a good idea. I don’t have very many of them. I’ll take it,” Cullen said. “I was kind of following what the guys were doing, but it’s so fun to see the kids. They absolutely light up. I’ve never seen a box of Lucky Charms go down so fast. It was unbelievable. It was so fun. It was so special having it at home and having the boys be a part of it.”
• Speaking of Cullen’s sons. Apparently the two youngest ones, need a new daytimer.
“The day before the Cup arrived, my two young boys came running into my room at 5:30 in the morning and woke me up,” Cullen said. “They said, ‘Dad, where’s the Cup?’ I was like, ‘It’s coming tomorrow. Go back to sleep.’ It was funny, just the excitement. It makes it so fun for me to see it through their eyes. It was pretty cool.”
• Logic would tell you this will be Cullen’s last year. Then again, you also don’t expect a guy who’s 38 playing on an $800,000 deal to score 16 goals.
Will this be Cullen’s last year? I’m not wiling to say it will be. Cullen said probably but left himself a few outs when I asked.
“It will probably be it,” Cullen said. “I’ve learned to never say anything 100 percent, but it will very likely be it. I said this last year, and I don’t want to overuse it, but I really like it’s a gift. I really do. To be able to play in the league at this point in my career, at my age, but more important to play in a place that I love playing and my family absolutely loves, I feel very fortunate to be able to do that. To see it work out today and sign it, to be able to play likely my final year here in Pittsburgh, I’m really thankful. I’m so happy it’s going to work out.”
Jason Mackey: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @JMackeyPG.
Goaltender Brian Foster made 24 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a season-ending 4-2 road loss to the Allen Americans in Game 6 of the Kelly Cup final. Allen won the best-of-seven series, 4-2.
Forwards John McCarron and Cody Wydo each scored goals for Wheeling.
Goaltender Franky Palazzese made 13 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-2 overtime home loss to the Allen Americans Saturday in Game 5 of the Kelly Cup final. Allen leads the best-of-seven series, 3-2.
Forwards Jarrett Burton and Cody Wydo scored goals for Wheeling.
Game 6 will be played Thursday at Allen, 8:05 p.m.
Forward Dan O’Donaghue had a goal and an assist for the Wheeling Nailers in a 4-2 home loss to the Allen Americans in Game 4 of the Kelly Cup final Friday. The best-of-seven series is tied, 2-2.
Forward Cody Wydo also scored for Wheeling while goaltender Franky Palazzese made 25 saves in the defeat.
Game 5 will be played Saturday at Wheeling, 7:35 p.m.
Goaltender Franky Palazzese made 28 saves for the Wheeling Nailers in a 3-2 home win against the Allen Americans in Game 3 of the Kelly Cup Final Wednesday. Wheeling leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
Forward Riley Brace recorded two assists for Wheeling while forwards Ty Loney, Anton Zlobin and defenseman James Melindy scored goals.
Game 4 will be played Friday at Wheeling, 7:05 p.m.