The Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday the death of Bobby Hull, 12-time All-Star and two-time Hart Trophy winner. He was 84 years old.
“We send our deepest condolences to the Hull family,” the team said in a statement. “The Hull family have asked for privacy during this difficult time. They appreciate the sympathy that has been sent to them.”
Hull, known during his playing career as the Golden Gates for his blonde hair and speed on the ice, became a darling in Chicago for teaming with Stan Mikita to help the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961, ending a 23-year title drought. .
Following Mikita’s lead, Hull became known for curving the blade of his wooden stick in the 1960s and having one of the most feared shots in the league. His slapping shot was reportedly recorded at 118 miles per hour.
He played 15 seasons in Chicago and is the franchise’s career leader in goals with 604. For eight of those seasons, he played alongside his brother Dennis, who scored 298 goals with the Blackhawks. Bobby Hull won back-to-back Hart Memorial Awards as the league’s most valuable player in 1964-65 and 1965-66, when he won the NHL scoring title for the third time in his career.
In a statement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman described Hull as “a true star with a social personality”.
“When Bobby Hull ended up taking a snap, fans all over the NHL got to their feet in anticipation and the opposing goaltenders braced themselves,” Bateman said. “During his presidency, there has been no such prolific scorer in all of hockey. … We send our deepest condolences to his son, his fellow Hockey Hall of Famer, the entire Hull family, and the countless fans throughout the world of hockey who have been so fortunate to have Enough to see him play or have since been amazed at his exploits.”
In 1972, Hull signed the first million dollar contract in professional hockey history (10 years, $1.75 million), leaving the Blackhawks and Hockey League to join the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA as a player/coach.
He played seven seasons in the WHA and helped the Jets win the Afco Cup in 1976 and 1978. He won two Gordie Howe Awards as the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1972 and 1973 and 1974-75, a season in which he recorded his career best. 77 goals.
He announced his retirement during the 1978-1979 season but decided to return the following season after the WHA merged with the NHL. He played 18 games with the Jets in 1979-80 and was traded to the Hartford Whalers, where he played nine games for the team before retiring again.
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. His son, Brett, is also in the Hall of Fame, as he was inducted in 2009 after a 19-season career in which he scored 741 goals. Bobby and Brett Hull are the only father and son to have each won the Hart Trophy. They were also the only father and son to be named among the 100 Greatest NHL Players in 2017.
Hull has finished in the top three for goals scored in 10 NHL seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information Research. Only Gordie Howe (12) f Alex Ovechkin (11) She has more such cases.
No. 9 in Bobby Hull has been retired by the Blackhawks and Jets. That Winnipeg franchise moved to Arizona in 1996 and was renamed the Coyotes, who also retired Hull’s No. 9. The Coyotes rescinded the number in 2005 so that Brett Hull could honor his father by wearing it.
Bobby Hull scored 610 goals and 560 assists in 1,063 regular season NHL games. In addition to his two Hart Awards, he was a three-time winner of the Art Ross Trophy awarded to the league leader in points and was awarded the 1965 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship along with stellar play.
Although Hull shone on the ice, he also faced legal and family issues in his personal life.
He faced allegations of domestic violence from two of his three wives. His second wife, figure skater Joan McKay, alleged that in 1966 he grabbed her from a balcony in Hawaii and beat her with a shoe and in 1978 threatened her with a loaded gun. His third wife, Deborah, filed charges after an incident in 1984, but later dropped them. However, Hull later pleaded guilty to swinging an officer during his arrest and was fined $150 and placed on court supervision for six months.
In 1998, Hull was shot To tell the Moscow Times that the black population in the United States was growing very quickly and that “Hitler had some good ideas” but “went a little too far”.
The Black Hawks announced last year that Hull would no longer serve as an ambassador for the team. The team said it is redefining the team ambassador role following the deaths of Mikita in 2018 and Tony Esposito in 2021.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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