By JAY COHEN (AP Sports Writer)
CHICAGO (AP) — When Bobby Hull acquired the puck, he was powerful to cease. He had blazing pace, a tough slap shot and tons of confidence.
Long earlier than in the present day’s largest stars took the ice, “The Golden Jet” placed on fairly a present.
Hull, a Hall 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 dying on Monday. There have been no additional particulars offered by both group.
The Blackhawks mentioned 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 prolific forwards in NHL historical past, scoring 610 occasions throughout his 16-year profession with Chicago, Hartford and Winnipeg. Nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his pace and blond hair, he additionally collected 303 objectives whereas taking part in for the Jets within the World Hockey Association for seven seasons.
While 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 in opposition to her husband, a state lawyer 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 ideas.” Hull denied making the remark, calling it “false and defamatory.”
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and his No. 9 sweater was retired by the Blackhawks that very same 12 months. He was estranged from the crew 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 Center.
The franchise introduced in February 2022 that Hull had retired from any official crew function, calling it a joint determination.
“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,” crew proprietor Rocky Wirtz mentioned in a press release.
“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.”
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 have been one of many worst groups within the league for years earlier than his debut throughout the 1957-58 season. He had 13 objectives and 34 assists in his first marketing campaign with the crew, 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 objectives or extra from 1959-72, turning into a perennial fixture on the All-Star Game and a daily candidate for the league’s prime awards.
Hull and Mikita powered Chicago to the franchise’s third championship in 1961, beating Montreal and Detroit within the playoffs. Hull had two objectives and 5 assists because the Blackhawks eradicated the Red Wings in six video games within the remaining.
The Pointe Anne, Ontario, native stays Chicago’s profession chief for regular-season and playoff objectives. He is second to Mikita on the franchise factors listing 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 response to his bio on the Hall of Fame web site.
The NHL and WHA merged in 1979, and Hull performed 27 video games with Winnipeg and Hartford in his remaining season earlier than retiring.
Hull had 560 assists in 1,063 regular-season NHL video games. In addition to his two Hart trophies, he was a three-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy awarded to the league chief in factors and took residence the 1965 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship mixed with stellar play.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a press release referred to as 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 mentioned. “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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