CHICAGO (AP) — When Bobby Hull acquired the puck, he was robust to cease. He had blazing velocity, a tough slap shot and tons of confidence.
Lengthy earlier than at this time’s greatest stars took the ice, “The Golden Jet” placed on fairly a present.
Hull, a Corridor of Fame winger and two-time NHL MVP who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961, has died. He was 84.
The Blackhawks and the NHL Alumni Association introduced Hull’s demise on Monday. There have been no additional particulars offered by both group.
The Blackhawks mentioned Hull “delivered numerous recollections to our followers, whom he adored. Generations of Chicagoans had been dazzled by Bobby’s taking pictures prowess, skating talent and general staff management that led to 604 profession targets, a franchise file that is still to this present day. We ship our deepest sympathies to the Hull household.”
Hull was probably the most prolific forwards in NHL historical past, scoring 610 instances throughout his 16-year profession with Chicago, Hartford and Winnipeg. Nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his velocity and blond hair, he additionally collected 303 targets whereas taking part in for the Jets within the World Hockey Affiliation for seven seasons.
Whereas Hull starred on the ice, he confronted authorized and household points in his private life.
Hull was convicted of assaulting a police officer who intervened in a dispute with then-wife Deborah in 1986. He additionally was accused of battery, however that cost was dropped after Deborah instructed authorities she didn’t need to testify towards her husband, a state legal professional instructed the Chicago Tribune.
Hull’s second spouse, Joanne, accused him of abuse throughout an interview with ESPN for a 2002 present.
A Russian newspaper reported in 1998 that Hull mentioned Adolf Hitler “had some good concepts.” Hull denied making the remark, calling it “false and defamatory.”
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame in 1983 and his No. 9 sweater was retired by the Blackhawks that very same 12 months. He was estranged from the staff for some time earlier than he was named a Blackhawks ambassador in a ceremony with former teammate Stan Mikita in 2008. Hull and Mikita have adjoining statues exterior the United Middle.
The franchise introduced in February 2022 that Hull had retired from any official staff position, calling it a joint determination.
“Bobby Hull will all the time be remembered as one of many best Blackhawks gamers of all time. He was a beloved member of the Blackhawks household,” staff proprietor Rocky Wirtz mentioned in an announcement.
“Once I assumed management of the group upon my father’s passing in 2007, one in all my first priorities was to satisfy with Bobby to persuade him to return again as an envoy of the staff. His connection to our followers was particular and irreplaceable.”
Hull’s brother, Dennis, performed for Chicago for many of his 14 years within the league, and Bobby’s son, Brett, spent 19 years within the NHL. Bobby and Brett every gained the Hart Trophy as league MVP, turning into the primary father-son duo to perform the feat. Bobby gained in 1964-65 and 1965-1966, whereas Brett gained in 1990-1991.
Bobby Hull helped the Blackhawks return to the highest of the NHL after they had been one of many worst groups within the league for years earlier than his debut through the 1957-58 season. He had 13 targets and 34 assists in his first marketing campaign with the staff, ending second within the Calder Trophy race for rookie of the 12 months.
It was a gradual rise from there. Hull posted 13 consecutive seasons with 30 targets or extra from 1959-72, turning into a perennial fixture on the All-Star Sport and a daily candidate for the league’s high awards.
Hull and Mikita powered Chicago to the franchise’s third championship in 1961, beating Montreal and Detroit within the playoffs. Hull had two targets and 5 assists because the Blackhawks eradicated the Purple Wings in six video games within the last.
The Pointe Anne, Ontario, native stays Chicago’s profession chief for regular-season and playoff targets. He’s second to Mikita on the franchise factors record with 1,153.
Hull left the Blackhawks after the 1971-72 season when he was chosen by Winnipeg within the WHA draft. The Jets lured Hull away from the NHL with hockey’s first $1 million contract, in line with his bio on the Corridor of Fame web site.
The NHL and WHA merged in 1979, and Hull performed 27 video games with Winnipeg and Hartford in his last season earlier than retiring.
Hull had 560 assists in 1,063 regular-season NHL video games. Along with his two Hart trophies, he was a three-time winner of the Artwork Ross Trophy awarded to the league chief in factors and took residence the 1965 Girl Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship mixed with stellar play.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in an announcement referred to as Hull “a real famous person with a gregarious character.”
“When Bobby Hull wound as much as take a slapshot, followers all through the NHL rose to their ft in anticipation and opposing goaltenders braced themselves,” Bettman mentioned. “Throughout his prime, there was no extra prolific goal-scorer in all of hockey. … We ship our deepest condolences to his son, fellow Hockey Corridor of Famer Brett; the whole Hull household; and the numerous followers across the hockey world who had been lucky sufficient to see him play or have since marveled at his exploits.”