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Cullen, John
Tampa Bay Lightning

JOHN CULLEN was born to play hockey. His father, Barry, as well as his uncles Ray and Brian, all played in the National Hockey League. After an IHL season that saw CULLEN lead the league with 157 points, JOHN signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent during the summer of 1988, joining the team that fall. In both 1989-90 and '90-91, CULLEN scored better than 30 goals and 90 points, the second season split between the Penguins and the Hartford Whalers. During November 1992, JOHN was traded to the Toronto Maples, an environment that had been home to JOHN's father and his uncle Brian. CULLEN returned to the Penguins for the 1994-95 season, then was picked up by the Tampa Bay Lightning as a free agent in 1995-96. During the summer of 1997, JOHN CULLEN was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a form of cancer. While enduring treatments, CULLEN missed the entire 1997-98 season convalescing. He returned for four games in 1998-99, but decided to retire, and became the assistant coach of the Lightning immediately. To honour his defeat of cancer, and his dedication to hockey, JOHN CULLEN was named the 1998-99 recipient of the MASTERTON TROPHY.

Cullen, John