Bobby Hull 1939-2023

Bobby Hull 1939-2023

Hall of Famer Bobby Hull passed away on Jan. 30, 2023. He was 84.

Hull spent 15 seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks from 1957-58 to 1971-72, becoming one of the greatest scorers in NHL history.

Ruggedly handsome with a megawatt smile and a muscular physique from years of farm labor while growing up near Belleville, Ontario, Hull was nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his blonde hair, blazing speed and booming shot. He was the NHL’s biggest star through most of the 1960s until Bobby Orr’s ascension to superstardom toward the end of that decade.

Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull (

His breakout season was in 1959-60 when he won his first Art Ross Trophy with 39 goals and 81 points in 70 games and was named to the First All-Star Team. The following season, he helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. He would also lead them to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1962, 1965 and 1971.

From 1961-62 to 1971-72, Hull took home the Art Ross twice more (1961-62, 1965-66), was a two-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy (1964-65, 1965-66), and was the winner of the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1964-65.

During that period, he led the league in goals six times, including four years in a row from 1965-66 to 1968-69. He was also named to the First All-Star Team nine times and the Second Team twice.

Hull had his first 50-goal season in 1961-62. He became the first player to score over 50 goals in 1965-66 with 54. He reached 52 the following season and broke his own record with 58 in 1968-69, which stood until Phil Esposito’s 76-goal performance in 1970-71.

In 1972, Hull made history by leaving the Blackhawks following a contract dispute to sign a $1 million deal with the Winnipeg Jets of the upstart World Hockey Association. A number of NHL stars quickly followed Hull to the rival league, which led to a significant, long-overdue increase in player salaries.

Hull’s presence gave the WHA respectability and helped ensure its survival until it was taken over by the NHL at the end of the 1978-79 season. He paid a price for jumping to the rival league as he was barred by the NHL from playing for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series with the Soviet Union. He would play for a team of WHA stars in an eight-game series with the Soviets in 1974 and was the only WHA player on Team Canada in the 1976 Canada Cup.

During his tenure with the WHA, Hull was named to the First All-Star Team three times and the Second Team twice. He was the league’s MVP in 1972-73 and 1974-75, scoring a league-leading 77 goals in ’74-’75.

After retiring in 1979, Hull returned to the NHL with the Jets in 1979-80, playing 18 games until traded to the Hartford Whalers where he skated for nine more before retiring again. He attempted a comeback with the New York Rangers in 1981 for five exhibition games before hanging up his skates for good.

Hull finished his NHL career with 604 goals and 1,153 points in 1,036 games. He also tallied 303 goals and 638 points in 411 WHA games. He and his son, Hall-of-Famer Brett Hull, are the only father and son in NHL history to each score 600 or more career NHL goals.

Hull had a reputation during his playing days for being kind and generous to his fans, often keeping the team bus waiting while he patiently signed autographs. However, there was a dark side to his private life that has cast a dark shadow over his career.

In the book “The Devil and Bobby Hull”, sportswriter Gare Joyce chronicled not only Hull’s hockey accomplishments but also his alcohol abuse and the physical and mental abuse of two of his three wives. His daughter, Michelle, works with battered women as a result of witnessing her father abusing her mother. He also made racist remarks during an interview with a Russian news outlet in 1998 that he subsequently denied.

Hull leaves behind a mixed legacy. On the ice, he was a great player who still holds the Blackhawks’ single-season goal record (58) and the all-time goals record (604). However, his behavior off the ice and unrepentant attitude over his transgressions tarnished his once golden reputation.

My condolences to his family, friends and former teammates.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2022

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – February 22, 2022

The Flames win their 10th straight, the Bruins surprise the Avalanche, the Canadiens upset the Leafs, the three stars of the week and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.


NHL.COM: The Calgary Flames are the hottest team in the league after picking up their 10th straight win by downing the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. Elias Lindholm extended his goal streak to eight games with the game-winning goal with 47 seconds remaining in the game. Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli also scored for Calgary. The Flames also set a franchise record with a perfect 7-0-0 homestand. With 66 points, they hold a four-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division. The Jets (52 points) remains seven points out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (NHL Images).

David Pastrnak scored twice and added an assist and Taylor Hall had three helpers to lead the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 win over the league-leading Colorado Avalanche. Goaltender Jeremy Swayman picked up the win with a 28-save performance as the Bruins (62 points) hold a 10-point lead over the Detroit Red Wings for the final Eastern Conference wild-card berth. The Avs (76 points) remain one point ahead of the Florida Panthers in the overall standings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Footage showed Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon appearing to slash linesman Michael Cormier on the leg after tangling with Bruins forward Tomas Nosek. Hockey operations investigated with the officials and determined there was “zero intent” by MacKinnon and no further action is required.

An overtime goal by Brett Pesce lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3. Frederik Andersen kicked out 38 shots for the win while Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes (74 points), who hold a four-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Vancouver Canucks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Kraken. Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller each collected two assists while Thatcher Demko turned aside 25 shots. With 54 points, the Canucks are five points behind the Los Angeles Kings, who hold that final Western wild-card spot.

Montreal Canadiens forwards Josh Anderson and Cole Caufield each had three points to lead their club to a 5-2 upset of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Anderson scored two goals and added an assist while Caufield had a goal and two assists. Sam Montembeault made 35 stops as the Canadiens have their first three-game win streak of the season. With 67 points, the Leafs sit in third place in the Atlantic Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Leafs’ defensive woes got worse as Jake Muzzin left the game in the second period after striking his head on the ice following a collision with Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman. He was sent to hospital for tests and didn’t travel with the club to Columbus following this game.


NHL.COM: Flames center Elias Lindholm, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Dallas Stars goaltender Jake Oettinger are the league’s three stars for the week ending Feb. 20.

SPORTSNET: The Jets placed rookie forward Cole Perfetti (upper body) on injured reserve.

TSN: The Maple Leafs acquired goaltender Carter Hutton from the Arizona Coyotes for future considerations. GOPHNX.COM reports the Leafs will loan Hutton back to the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate in Tucson but still have the insurance of an extra goalie in their system.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Leafs, they lost winger Ryan Dzingel off waivers to the San Jose Sharks yesterday. They had acquired Dzingel on Saturday in a trade with the Coyotes.

NBC SPORTS CHICAGO: The Blackhawks have mutually parted ways with Bobby Hull as a team ambassador.