Hockey legend Bobby Hull dies

January 31, 2023

Hockey fans received some sad news Monday with the death of legendary Chicago Blackhawks winger Bobby Hull. 

The Ontario native, who was called the "Golden Jet" for his blond hair and speed on the ice, was 84 years old.

Hockey legend dies

With his famously powerful slapshot, Hull scored over 600 goals during his 16 years in the NHL, making him the top scorer in Blackhawks history.

In 1961, he helped lead the franchise to their first Stanley Cup title in 23 years. The Blackhawks paid tribute to Hull in a statement, saying he "delivered countless memories to our fans, whom he adored."

"Generations of Chicagoans were dazzled by Bobby’s shooting prowess, skating skill and overall team leadership that led to 604 career goals, a franchise record that remains to this day. We send our deepest sympathies to the Hull family," the statement said.

Hull spent 15 seasons with the Blackhawks, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy twice, the Art Ross Trophy, awarded to the top scorer in the league, three times, and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanship and stellar play.

Top scorer

His formidable NHL record stands at 610 goals, 560 assists and 1,170 points in 1,063 games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers.

Hull scored 303 goals, 335 assists and 638 points in 411 World Hockey Association (WHA) games with the Winnipeg Jets and led the franchise to two championships before the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979. He rounded out his NHL career with 27 games with the Jets and the Whalers.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman called Hull a "true superstar with a gregarious personality" whose slapshot was feared by many a goaltender.

"During his prime, there was no more prolific goal-scorer in all of hockey."

Posthumous backlash

In 1998, Hull got into hot water for allegedly telling a Russian newspaper that Hitler had "some good ideas," but he said the attribution was false and defamatory. He also faced controversy over allegations of domestic abuse.

Critics didn't hesitate to pile on after his death. The New York Times ran a headline saying his "golden" career was "diminished by his troubling dark side." Hull's grandson Jude Hull said the posthumous backlash "makes me want to puke."

While some went looking to bash Hull's legacy, his son Brett Hull, who is also an NHL Hall of Famer and Hart Trophy Winner, said his father left the world with a "tremendous amount of great memories.”

“Those of us who were lucky enough to spend time with him will cherish those forever,” Brett Hull said. “He will be greatly missed.”

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