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'We're bringing it home': Cullen says he'll bring Stanley Cup to Moorhead

Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen (7) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Nashville Predators in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports1 / 2
Pittsburgh Penguins center Matt Cullen (7) hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Nashville Predators in game six of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports2 / 2

MOORHEAD, Minn.—Former Moorhead hockey standout and Stanley Cup champion Matt Cullen still isn't sure if he'll play another NHL season, but he is sure he's bringing the Stanley Cup to Moorhead when he gets his day with it on Aug. 31.

"We're bringing it home," Cullen said. "I will be making it available to the public at some point. I just don't know how I'm going to do it or where or when. I have to follow up with the Cup guys and see exactly what the schedule is, see the exact details of when they're coming in and when they're leaving, so I can make the plans."

If the Stanley Cup clincher for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the 1,489th NHL game of Cullen's career was indeed his last, Cullen would finish with 266 goals, 479 assists and three Stanley Cups for his career. His 1,489 games puts him fourth among American-born players. This season he became the seventh player since 1968 to win a Stanley Cup over the age of 40.

"In the world of hockey I know it's not a big decision, but for me it's a big decision that affects my life and my family's life, so we're just trying to make the right one," Cullen said. "It's not something that I really want to try and drag out or overblow it for any reason. I just want to make sure I make the right decision. I only get to make it once. Just trying to figure out the right thing to do for me and my family. We're working on it. It's not something I'm really rushing or feeling urgency, but I'm just trying to let it come here."

With back-to-back seasons ending with a Stanley Cup, Cullen has played a lot of hockey of late, especially considering he didn't miss a game last season. In the last two seasons, Cullen has played 203 games. He says the body is still holding up.

"I feel really good actually," Cullen said. "I was fortunate to get through the playoffs without any injuries of any significance, so it's nice to feel healthy. I feel really good. That's been really nice."

Cullen has spent the last few weeks since winning his third Stanley Cup at the lakes area with family. Free agency doesn't take a vacation, as reports have surfaced that the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken to Cullen.

"It's nice to step back and enjoy the special ride we've had the last couple of years," Cullen said. "You really just kind of appreciate it for what it is. It all happened so fast, so it's nice to take a break and let it all sink in and enjoy it a little bit. Got to figure out what the heck we're going to do for next season, but that's about it."

Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.

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