Is Matt Cullen a good fit for the Sabres?

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jun 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 17:37:08-04

Free agency officially opens on July 1, but the window to talk to prospective additions to a team began two days ago.

At the NHL Draft in Chicago, new Sabres GM Jason Botterill said he wasn't interested in a "quick fix" to help turn the franchise around.

"We're still addressing a lot of different positions within our organization. We want to bring in more depth obviously.  Whether it's through free agency or trades, we'll continue to look at different things," he said.  "I don't think there's as much of that "big bang" on July 1, but hopefully you can find some good value and good depth."

Could that "good value" and "good depth" include former Penguins centerman Matt Cullen?

According to SportsNet's Elliott Friedman in his 30 Thoughts, he writes while retirement is still an option for Cullen, don't be surprised if Botterill reaches out.

14. It looks like Minnesota, Pittsburgh or retirement for Matt Cullen, but it would not be a shock if Buffalo called him. GM Jason Botterill knows him and he’d be an excellent fit. A centre who can teach and still play is never bad. Can see the Sabres looking at Brian Boyle for the same reason.

After winning his second straight Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh Cullen told reporters retirement was on the table.

Nick's Take: 

I'm not a fan of that idea.  Do the Sabres need another veteran presence in the locker room? Sure.  But I don't think Cullen is the answer, especially at 40 on the tail end of his career.

I think if there's a free agent from Pittsburgh the Sabres can and should go after, that'll not only bring leadership and credibility, it's Nick Bonino who is also fresh off winning his second Stanley Cup with the Pens.

In terms of hockey age -- he's still young at 29 -- and he could slide right into the third line centerman role with the Blue and Gold.

Ideally the Sabres need to land a solid 3rd line center in free agency who can help turn the line into a dependable scoring force for Buffalo.

I think Bonino, more so than Cullen, could be that guy, if the price is right.