Matt Cullen retiring from the National Hockey League

Getty  AP

Getty AP

"The relationships I've built over all these years are the most important things I'll take with me", said Cullen, who played most recently for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Matt Cullen has spent half his lifetime in the National Hockey League but, on Wednesday, the 42-year-old announced that he's calling it quits after a 21-year career. Even if we had won the Cup I would have been done.

The veteran center announced his decision to hang up the skates via the Penguins' Twitter account on Wednesday. "It just felt right and I really at peace with everything when it was over". "And I think that with the future, this team is in the right place so I for sure want to be part of it and still contribute with the experiences that I have now".

After bouncing around playing for the Nashville Predators, Minnesota Wild, and the Ottawa Senators, Cullen landed with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he won back to back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

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Drafted by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the second round of the 1996 NHL Draft, Cullen would go on to play with eight different teams in 21 seasons.

"I remember waking up in the middle of the night many times these last few years thinking, 'What am I doing?"

Florida Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo was 40 years old when he retired June 26. All I know is hockey. I never wanted to do anything else.

Since debuting in the NHL in 1997, Cullen has appeared in 1,516 NHL games - 19th most in NHL history. That announcement came via an outstanding four-minute long video that not only highlights the peaks of Cullen's long career, but also serves as a genuine "thank you" to those who helped him along the way.

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