Courtesy of Point Park University

What exactly will Cullen’s responsibilities be? ☕


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Matt Cullen. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Matt Cullen handled a lot of different jobs during his 21-year playing career in the NHL.

Though primarily a center, he was deployed on the wing at times. And in addition to being an accomplished penalty-killer, Cullen received enough power-play time that he piled up 55 man-advantage goals.

And it turns out his job description in his new, player-development role with the Penguins will be every bit as diverse and wide-ranging as the one he had on the ice.

"He's going to do a little bit of everything," Jim Rutherford said. "He'll do some (player) development, he'll work with the coaches, kind of be that liaison with the coaches and the players. He'll do some work with me, in hockey ops. We'll see what we need at different times, but he'll be part of pretty much everything in the hockey (side of the) organization."

Defining Cullen's specific duties, he added, should be easier to do once he begins to settle into his new job.

"We'll have to get into it before we see all that it entails," Rutherford said. "I see him more around the big team than anything, with what his job duties will be."

Cullen lives in his home state of Minnesota, and has made it clear that spending more time with his wife and children is a priority since he stopped playing.

He will, however, have to do at least some travel in conjunction with his job, whether it's visiting a prospect who plays college or junior hockey, instructing players with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm team or simply checking in on the parent club.

"If he's going to see a player for player development, of course he'll have to go on the road," Rutherford said.

There are no plans for Cullen to move back here, and he won't be the only team employee who resides outside of western Pennsylvania. Assistant coach Sergei Gonchar, for example, maintains a permanent residence in Dallas.

"He'll work the same way as (Gonchar) does," Rutherford said.

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