First thing’s first… Jaromir Jagr is not returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sorry to break it to you this way, but when the future Hall of Famer chose the Philadelphia Flyers over the Penguins in the summer of 2010, he made his bed with the Penguins franchise.
Another former Penguins Stanley Cup champion may be on his way back, however. In his latest 20 Penguins Thoughts column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penguins insider Jason Mackey addresses the curious case of former Penguins center Matt Cullen, now of the Minnesota Wild, and wonders aloud whether or not the Penguins would take a shot at him in a trade.
For all the fanfare departed center Nick Bonino gets in the city of Pittsburgh, you may have forgotten about Cullen. The 41-year-old center was a HUGE part of the Penguins’ Stanley Cup victories in 2017 and 2016, but he’s struggled this season in Minnesota. Could a return to the center ice position in Pittsburgh spark him? Does he have one final playoff run left in him?
According to Makey, there’s a good chance Cullen hits the trade market.
If the Wild are cutting bait in two weeks, there’s a good chance they part with Cullen and give the 41-year-old what could be one final crack at the playoffs, something several sources have confirmed that he’d want.
Cullen lacks any kind of trade protection in his contract, but it’s no secret where he’d like to end up. Hint: Three-peat.
Cullen could theoretically go anywhere among playoff-bound teams, but those same people told me there’s only one place to worry about, one place Cullen would want to go.
The move back to Pittsburgh makes perfect sense for the team and the player. Truth be told, Cullen only signed in Minnesota this past offseason to be closer to family and friends. The Virgina, Minnesota native is a family man and ALWAYS puts his family first. But, with the Wild slipping in the standings and the trade deadline quickly approaching, his time in the Land of 10,000 Lakes may be coming to an end.
Is this likely? Again, that’s hard to say. Nobody told me explicitly that it’s absolutely going to happen, simply that it could if the right dominoes fall.
All we can do now is wait… and watch the dominoes fall.