Hockey lost a legend today with the passing of Bobby Hull. He was 84 years old.
Hull made an impact in his first season in professional hockey. The gifted scorer was the runner-up for the Calder in the 1957-58 season and as the 60’s came calling he would win his first batch of individual awards as in the 1959-60 season he was the NHL’s leading goal scorer, the Art Ross Trophy winner and a First Team All Star. That is a career season for most players but for “The Golden Jet” it was just the beginning.
After helping Chicago win the 1961 Stanley Cup, Hull went on a tear where he was named to post-season All-Star Team eleven years in a row (nine First Team and two Second Team). Excelling at putting the puck in the net, Hull led the NHL in that category seven times and is the franchise all-time leader with 604 and he was the first player to exceed 50 Goals in a Season. A large part of the story of his success was the curved stick that he and teammate Stan Mikita popularized and as the possessor of one the fastest shots in the NHL (in addition to also being one of the quickest skaters) made him an offensive juggernaut. The Left Winger would also win the Hart Trophy and the Lady Byng in the 1964-65 season.
Like many star players of the National Hockey League, Hull felt underpaid and he jumped to the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972 when the Winnipeg Jets (who had his rights) shockingly met his asking price of one million dollars. He helped the Jets win the Avco Cup twice, and had a brief return to the NHL when the WHA merged with the NHL.
Hull entered the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 his first year of eligibility.
As phenomenal as he was on the ice, Hull was a controversial figure off it, known for a volatile temper, allegations of domestic abuse, and horrific comments in 1998 to a Moscow newspaper, though Hull denied those comments.