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Obituary: Cullen was one of two brothers to play for Red Wings

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Ex-Red Wings Barry Cullen

Part of a prominent NHL family, Barry Cullen spent the 1959-60 season skating for the Detroit Red Wings. Slowed by a knee injury suffered in the preseason, the right winger suited up for 59 games during that campaign, collecting 4-9-13 totals. He also was in the lineup for four playoff games that spring.

Cullen was known as a thinking man’s player. He was given high praise by a legendary hockey man when the Wings acquired him.

“Barry Cullen is pretty good around the net,” Montreal Canadiens coach Toe Blake told the Montreal Gazette, before adding a caveat. “He can score, but he has to have somebody to put him in.”

Cullen Saw Last NHL Action With Red Wings

That 1959-60 Detroit tenure was the final fling of a five-season NHL career for Cullen. However, his contribution to the NHL, as well as that of his family, was far from done. Barry’s younger brother Ray Cullen would also weared the Winged Wheel. And Barry’s son John Cullen would go on to enjoy a prominent NHL career. John was a two-time NHL All-Star Game participant and winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 1999. Barry’s older brother Brian Cullen played in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers.

Barry, who died earlier this month at the age of 87, was traded to the Red Wings by the Maple Leafs for Frank Roggeveen and John Wilson on June 9, 1959. Following the 1959-60 season, the Red Wings were shipping Cullen to the AHL Buffalo Bisons in exchange for forward Pete Conacher.

Ray Cullen was acquired by the Red Wings from the New York Rangers in 1966 via the NHL Intra-League Draft. Center Ray Cullen, the youngest of the three brothers, spent 27 games with Detroit during the 1966-67 season. His production was a solid eight goals and eight assists. The Minnesota North Stars claimed Ray Cullen from the Red Wings in the 1967 NHL Expansion Draft.

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