Bobby Hull, a 12-time All-Star and two-time Hart Trophy winner who was also inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, died on Monday, according to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was 84.
On behalf of the Hull family, the team issued the following statement: “”Please accept our sincere apologies.”
During this tragic moment, the Hull family has requested privacy. They are appreciative of the thoughts offered.
Hull captivated the hearts of Chicagoans when he joined up with Stan Mikita to help the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961, ending a 23-year championship drought.
In the 1960s, Hull copied Mikita’s approach of bending the blade of his wooden stick, and as a consequence, he produced one of the league’s most frightening slap shots. He supposedly struck the ball at 118 mph with a slap shot.
He played with Chicago for 15 seasons and currently owns the record for most goals scored in a career (604). For eight of those seasons, he shared the ice with his brother Dennis, a Blackhawks goal scorer with 298 goals.
Bobby Hull won the NHL scoring title for the third time in his career in 1964-65 and 1965-66, earning back-to-back Hart Memorial Trophies as the league’s most valuable player.
Hull was praised as a “wonderful superstar with a vivacious personality” by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement.
According to Bettman, fans in the NHL erupted in excitement as Bobby Hull prepared to take a shot, while opposing goalies braced themselves.
During his prime, there was no more prolific goal scorer in hockey. The whole Hull family, including his son Brett, who is now a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, as well as the many hockey fans who had the chance to witness him play or who have been inspired by his accomplishments, have our heartfelt condolences.
Hull departed the Blackhawks and the NHL in 1972 to sign the first $1 million contract in professional hockey history (10 years, $1.75 million), and he became a player/coach with the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA.
He played seven seasons in the WHA after helping the Jets win the Avco Cup in 1976 and 1978. He won two Gordie Howe Trophies for being the league’s most valuable player in 1972-73 and 1974-75, the latter of which featured a career-high 77 goals.
He announced his retirement after the 1978-1979 season, but when the NHL and WHA merged, he chose to return the following year. He played 18 games with the Jets in 1979-80 before being sent to the Hartford Whalers, where he played nine games before retiring.
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. His son Brett is also a member of the Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2009 following a 19-season career in which he scored 741 goals. Bobby and Brett Hull are the only father-son duo to win the Hart Trophy. They were also the only father and son to be named among the top 100 NHL players in 2017.
Brett Hull, a St. Louis Blues ambassador, said in a statement that his father provided his family and others with “a vast amount of fantastic experiences.”
Brett Hull said, “We who were lucky enough to spend time with him will cherish our memories of him for the rest of our lives. His departure will be felt profoundly.
Bobby Hull was in the top three most goals scored over the span of 10 NHL seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Only Alex Ovechkin (11) and Gordie Howe (12) has more instances of this kind.
Hull’s No. 9 was retired by the Blackhawks and Jets. Hull’s number 9 was retired when the Winnipeg franchise relocated to Arizona in 1996 and assumed the nickname Coyotes. The Coyotes unretired the number in 2005 so that Brett Hull may wear it in commemoration of his father.
Bobby Hull appeared in 1,063 NHL regular-season games, scoring 610 goals and assisting on 560 others. He earned the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for excellent play and sportsmanship in 1965, in addition to his two Hart Trophies. He also won the league’s point leader, the Art Ross Trophy, three times.
Despite being a star on the ice, Hull suffered with family and legal issues off the ice.
He was accused of domestic abuse by two of his three wives. His second wife, figure skater Joanne McKay, said he hit her with a shoe while holding her over a balcony in Hawaii in 1966 and threatened her with a loaded shotgun in 1978.
Following an incident in 1984, his third wife Deborah pressed charges, which she later dropped. Hull, on the other hand, pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer while being detained and was sentenced to a $150 fine and six months of court supervision.
In 1998, Hull was chastised for telling The Moscow Times that Hitler “had some wonderful ideas” but “went a bit too far” and that the Black population in the United States was growing too rapidly.
The Blackhawks announced Hull’s resignation as a club ambassador last year. After Mikita died in 2018 and Tony Esposito died in 2021, the club announced that the job of team ambassador will be revised.