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Legendary Chicago Blackhawks LW Bobby Hull Died at the Age of 84
On Monday, January 30th, 2023 the Chicago Blackhawks announced that the Hockey Hall of Famer, a 12 - time NHL All - Star, and 2 - time Hart Trophy winner, Bobby Hull, has passed away. Hull was 84 - years - old.
"We send our deepest sympathies to the Hull family," the Chicago Blackhawks explained in a recently released statement. "The Hull family has requested privacy during this difficult time. They appreciate the sympathies that have been sent their way."
Turned Around Hockey for the Chicago Blackhawks
Hull earned the nickname of the “Golden Jet” during his playing career due to his blond hair as well as his speed and quickness on the ice. Hull became one of the most beloved Blackhawks in Chicago for working with another Chicago Blackhawks great in Stan Mikita in order to help the Chicago Blackhawks win the NHL Stanley Cup way back in 1961 which ended a 23 - year championship title drought.
Following the lead of his other superstar teammate, Mikita, Bobby became well - known for curving the blade of his hockey stick back in the 1960’s, and he had one of the hardest hitting slap - shots in the National Hockey League. Hull’s slap - shot was said to be clocked at 118 - mph.
Hull played for the Chicago Blackhawks for 15 - NHL seasons, and he is the NHL franchise's career leader in goals scored with 604 - goals. For eight of those seasons playing with the Chicago Blackhawks, Bobby played with his brother, Dennis Hull, who scored 298 - goals with the Chicago Blackhawks. Bobby won back - to - back Hart Memorial Trophies for being the NHL’s most valuable player in 1964 - 1965 and 1965 - 1966, when he won the league’s scoring title for the 3rd - time during his illustrious professional hockey career.
Media Statements from the Commissioner of the NHL
The commissioner of the National Hockey League, Gary Bettman, said that Hull was a, "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 goes on to say. "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.''
Making History in Professional Hockey
Back in 1972, Bobby signed the 1st contract in the history of professional hockey for over $1 million, (10 - years, $1.75 million), causing Hull to leave the Chicago Blackhawks as well as the NHL to join the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA as a player / coach.
Hull played for 7 - years in the WHA, and he helped the Winnipeg Jets win the Avco Cups in 1976 as well as 1978. Bobby won 2 - Gordie Howe Trophy Awards as the WHA's most valuable player in 1972 - 1973 and 1974 - 1975, a season in which he scored a career - best 77 - goals.
Hull announced his retirement from professional ice hockey during the 1978 - 1979 season, but he ultimately decided to return the following season when the WHA merged with the NHL. He played only 18 - games with the Winnipeg Jets in 1979 – 1980, and then he was traded to the Hartford Whalers, playing just 9 - games for the Whalers prior to retiring once again.
Bobby was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame back in 1983. His son Brett who is also in the Hockey Hall of Fame was inducted in 2009 after his 19 - year career in which he scored 741 - goals. Bobby and Brett Hull are the only father and son combination to each win the Hart Memorial Trophy Award. They also were the only father and son combo named as part of the 100 - Greatest NHL Players back in 2017.
Bobby Hull finished in the top three in goals scored in 10 - NHL seasons. Only Gordie Howe with 12 as well as Alex Ovechkin with 11 have managed to do so in more such instances.
Hull's number 9 is retired by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets. That Winnipeg Jets franchise relocated to Arizona back in 1996, and the franchise was renamed to the Arizona Coyotes, who also retired Hull's number 9. The Arizona Coyotes unretired the number in 2005 so Brett Hull could honor his father by wearing his special number 9 jersey.
Hull had 610 - goals and 560 - assists over the course of 1,063 - regular - season NHL games. In addition to his two Hart Memorial Trophy Awards, he was also a 3 - time winner of the Art Ross Trophy Award that goes to the NHL leader in points, and he took home the 1965 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Award for sportsmanship combined with excellent play.
Troubled Personal Life
Although Hull was amazing while playing hockey on the ice, he faced a variety of legal and family problems throughout his personal life.
Bobby faced multiple allegations of domestic abuse from 2 of his 3 wives. His 2nd - wife, the famous figure skater, Joanne McKay, accused Hull of holding her over a balcony in Hawaii in 1966, and that he hit her with a shoe, and he threatened her with a loaded shotgun in 1978. Hull’s 3rd - wife, Deborah, filed charges against Bobby after a domestic violence incident occurred back in 1984, but she later dropped the charges. However, Hull later pleaded guilty to charges resulting from him taking a swing at an officer during his arrest, and Bobby was fined $150 and placed on 6 - months of court supervision.
In 1998, Hull came under intense scrutiny for telling The Moscow Times that the black population in the United States of America was growing too fast and that, "Hitler had some good ideas, but just went a bit too far."
The Chicago Blackhawks announced last season that Hull would no longer serve as a team ambassador. The Chicago Blackhawks said that they were redefining the ambassador role following the death of Mikita in 2018 and the death of Tony Esposito in 2021.
Bobby Hull’s Hockey Career Achievement, Honors, & Awards
- Art Ross Trophy Award Winner (1960, 1962, and 1966)
- NHL First All - Star Team Left Wing Selection https://wizardofodds.com/online-gambling/sports-betting/top-ten-greatest-nhl--left-wingers-of-all-time (1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972)
- Stanley Cup Champion (1961)
- NHL Second All - Star Team Left Wing Selection (1963 and 1971)
- Hart Memorial Trophy Award Winner (1965 and 1966)
- Lady Byng Memorial Trophy Award Winner (1965)
- Lester Patrick Trophy Award Winner (1969)
- Became 3rd - Hockey Player to Appear on the Cover of Time Magazine
- NHL All - Star game MVP Award Winner (1970, 1971), Only Player to Win Consecutive All - Star Game MVP Awards
- WHA First All - Star Team Selection (1973, 1974, and 1975)
- WHA Second All - Star Team Selection (1976 and 1978)
- WHA Most Valuable Player Award Winner (1973 and 1975)
- Avco Cup (WHA) Champion (1976, 1978, and 1979)
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983
- Retired as the 2nd - Leading Goal - Scorer and 9th - Leading Point - Scorer in NHL History (at the Time of his Retirement)
- 2nd - in WHA History in Goals, 6th - in Assists, and 3rd - in Points
- In 1998, he was Ranked Number 8 on The Hockey News' List of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, the Highest - Ranking Left Winger
- Honored Member of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
- Member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame
- Inaugural Member of the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame
- Honored Member of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
- In 2011, Statues of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were Installed Outside the United Center, where the Chicago Blackhawks currently Play
“Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, the Golden Jet, dies at age 84”, espn.com, Monday, January 30, 2023.
“Bobby Hull”, hockey-reference.com, Monday, January 30, 2023.
Written by: David Green