Skip to main content

Brian Cullen

The Cullen family were known for two things - hockey and automobiles.

Brian was the oldest of three brothers all to make it to the National Hockey League. Raised in Ottawa, Brian went on to record breaking offensive numbers while leading the OHA's St. Catherine's Teepees to the 1954 Memorial Cup.

Cullen was a true offensive dynamo, but in the NHL he found himself playing with the tight defensive Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1950s. Those Leafs teams played a physical, grinding game and focused on defense more than offense. Despite a 20 goal season in 1957-58, Cullen never fit in with the Leafs.

The New York Rangers claimed Cullen in an intraleague draft in 1959, but torn knee ligaments and a broken hand really hampered his two seasons in Manhattan.

By 1963 Cullen left the ice for good as he had another career calling him. And it all started with a chance meeting by Brian Cullen that he called "the luckiest break" in his six year NHL career.

Cullen was attending a father-son banquet in Richmond Hill, Ontario when he met a man who convinced Cullen and teammate Bob Pulford to come to his house because his young son could not attend due to a broken leg. They dropped by, signed the kid's cast, and began a friendship with Herb Kearney - a notable Toronto car dealer.

When Cullen retired from pro hockey in 1961 Kearney took him under his wing and gave him a job as a leasing manager. Learning the entire business from the bottom up, Cullen eventually secured his own General Motors car dealerships.

Brothers Barry and Ray, along with Barry's son John, all played in the NHL and all got into the car sales business, too.

Brian also found success raising thoroughbred racing horses.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M