Bobby Hull was hard to stop when he had the puck. He was very fast, had a hard slap shot, and was very sure of himself. “The Golden Jet” put on a great show long before the biggest stars of today. Hull, a winger in the Hockey Hall of Fame and the NHL’s Most Valuable Player twice, has died. In 1961, he helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. He was 84. On Monday, the Blackhawks and the NHL Alumni Association told the world that Hull had died. Both organizations did not give any more information.
The Blackhawks said Hull “delivered countless memories to our fans, whom he adored. Generations of Chicagoans were dazzled by Bobby’s shooting prowess, skating skill and overall team leadership that led to 604 career goals, a franchise record that remains to this day. We send our deepest sympathies to the Hull family.”
Hull was one of the most productive forwards in NHL history. In 16 years with Chicago, Hartford, and Winnipeg, he scored 610 goals. He was called “The Golden Jet” because of how fast he was and how blonde his hair was. He also scored 303 goals in seven seasons for the Jets in the World Hockey Association.
While Hull was a star on the ice, he had trouble with the law and his family. In 1986, Hull was found guilty of hitting a police officer who tried to help him settle a fight with his then-wife Deborah. He was also charged with battery, but a state attorney told the Chicago Tribune that charge was dropped after Deborah told police she didn’t want to testify against her husband.
During an interview with ESPN for a show in 2002, Hull’s second wife, Joanne, said that he had abused her. In 1998, a Russian newspaper said Hull said Hitler “had some good ideas.” Hull said that the comment was “false and hurtful,” which means that it was not true.
In 1983, Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Blackhawks retired his No. 9 jersey that same year. He fell out of touch with the team for a while, but in 2008, he and his former teammate Stan Mikita were both named Blackhawks ambassadors. Outside the United Center, there are statues of Hull and Mikita next to each other.
In February 2022, the team said that Hull had retired from all official team roles. They said it was a joint decision. “Bobby Hull will always be remembered as one of the greatest Blackhawks players of all time. He was a beloved member of the Blackhawks family,” team owner Rocky Wirtz said in a statement.
“When I assumed leadership of the organization upon my father’s passing in 2007, one of my first priorities was to meet with Bobby to convince him to come back as an ambassador of the team. His connection to our fans was special and irreplaceable.”
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Most of Dennis Hull’s 14 years in the NHL were spent with the Chicago Blackhawks, and Bobby Hull’s son Brett played for 19 years in the NHL. Bobby and Brett were the first father-and-son pair to both win the Hart Trophy as league MVP. In 1964-1965 and 1965-1966, Bobby won, and in 1990-1991, Brett won.
In a statement released by the St. Louis Blues, for whom he works as an ambassador, Brett Hull said his father gave his family and others “a tremendous amount of great memories.” “Those of us who were lucky enough to spend time with him will cherish those forever,” Hull said. “He will be greatly missed.”
Before Bobby Hull joined the team in 1957-58, the Blackhawks were one of the worst teams in the NHL. He helped them get back to the top of the league. In his first season with the team, he scored 13 goals and had 34 assists. He came in second place for the Calder Trophy, which is given to the best rookie player.
From there, it went up steadily. From 1959 to 1972, Hull had 13 straight seasons with 30 goals or more, making him a regular at the All-Star Game and a regular contender for the league’s top awards. In 1961, Hull and Mikita helped Chicago win its third championship. In the playoffs, they beat Montreal and Detroit. In the final, the Blackhawks beat the Red Wings in six games. Hull had two goals and five assists.
The Pointe Anne, Ontario, native still has the most regular-season and postseason goals in Chicago’s history. He has 1,153 franchise points, which is second only to Mikita. After the 1971–72 season, Hull left the Blackhawks because Winnipeg picked him in the WHA draft. The Jets gave Hull the first $1 million contract in hockey history, which made him leave the NHL. This is what his bio on the Hall of Fame website says.
In 1979, the NHL and WHA joined together. In his last season, Hull played 27 games with Winnipeg and Hartford. In 1,063 NHL regular-season games, Hull had 560 helpers. In addition to his two Hart trophies, he won the Art Ross Trophy, which is given to the league’s point leader, three times. He also won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1965 for his great play and sportsmanship.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement called Hull “a true superstar with a gregarious personality.”
“When Bobby Hull wound up to take a slapshot, fans throughout the NHL rose to their feet in anticipation and opposing goaltenders braced themselves,” Bettman said. “During his prime, there was no more prolific goal-scorer in all of hockey.
We send our deepest condolences to his son, fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Brett; the entire Hull family; and the countless fans around the hockey world who were fortunate enough to see him play or have since marveled at his exploits.”
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