NHL notebook: Penguins’ Cullen retires after 21 years

Matt Cullen, who was the oldest player in the NHL last season, retired Wednesday at the age of 42.

The forward played 21 seasons in the NHL, including last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he had 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 71 regular-season games.

“It was an emotional time, but I knew it was coming,” Cullen told NHL.com. “It just felt right, and I was really at peace with everything when it was over. I felt like it was only right to retire in Pittsburgh with everything that the organization had given me and done for me.”

Cullen’s first stint with the Penguins was from 2015 to 2017, when he helped Pittsburgh to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles. Cullen also hoisted the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, when he scored a career-high 25 goals.

–The Vancouver Canucks signed free agent left winger Micheal Ferland to a four-year contract worth $14 million.

“Micheal is an energetic player that drives the play and can contribute in all three zones,” general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. “He’ll make our team harder to play against on a nightly basis and we’re excited that he’ll call Vancouver home.”

Ferland, 27, is coming off his second straight 40-point campaign, collecting 17 goals and a career-high 23 assists in 71 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last year. He ranked fourth on the team in plus/minus (plus-13) and third in hits (182).

–The Los Angeles Kings re-signed restricted free agent forward Alex Iafallo to a two-year, $4.85 million deal.

The agreement means the sides will avoid an arbitration hearing, which was set for July 20. Iafallo was the Kings’ only player to elect for arbitration.

Iafallo, 25, collected 15 goals and 18 assists while playing in all 82 games last season, finishing fourth on the team in goals and sixth in points. According to the team, he was named the Kings’ player of the year based on fan voting.

–The Washington Capitals signed forward Aliaksei Protas, their third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract worth $716,666 per year.

Protas, 18, posted 40 points (11 goals, 29 assists) in 61 games last season to rank seventh in points among rookies in the Western Hockey League. He had 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists) in 23 playoff games with the Prince Albert Raiders.

The Capitals selected Protas with the 91st pick in the draft, acquired by trading their 118th and 129th overall selections in the 2019 draft to the New Jersey Devils.

–The Columbus Blue Jackets signed center Justin Scott to a one-year, two-way deal.

Scott, who has yet to make his NHL debut, was a restricted free agent. He recently finished a three-year entry level deal with Columbus that had him playing for the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League.

Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.