Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, a 12-time All-Star and two-time Hart Trophy winner, has died, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday. He is 84 years old.
"Our deepest condolences go out to the Hull family," the team said in a statement. "The Hull family asks for privacy during this difficult time. They are grateful for the compassion shown to them."
Known throughout his career as the Golden Jet for his blonde hair and speed on the ice, Hull ended his 23-year career in Chicago for helping the Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup with Stan Mikita The title drought was wildly popular in Chicago.
Bobby Hull's Blackhawks Rankings
Following Mikita's example, Hull became famous in the 1960s for bending the blade of a stick and possessing one of the most feared shots in the league. He reportedly hit the ball at 118 miles per hour.
He played 15 seasons in Chicago and became the team's career leader with 604 goals. He played in eight of those seasons alongside his brother Dennis, who scored 298 goals for the Blackhawks. Bobby Hull won back-to-back Hart Memorial Trophies in 1964-65 and 1965-66, becoming the league's Most Valuable Player and winning the NHL scoring title for the third time in his career.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bateman called Hull "a superstar with a real social personality" in a statement.
"When Bobby Hull finally hits the field goal, NHL fans are expecting it, and the opposing goalie is ready," Bettman said. "In his heyday, there was no more prolific shooter in hockey. ... We salute his son, his fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Brett, the entire Hull family and countless others around the world who have been privileged to see him The game or the fans who have marveled at his exploits since then offer our deepest condolences."
In 1972, Hull signed the first $1 million contract in professional ice hockey history (10 years, $1.75 million), left the Blackhawks and NHL, and joined the WHA's Winnipeg Jets as a player/coach.
He played seven seasons with the WHA and helped the Jets win the Avco Cup in 1976 and 1978. He won the Gordy Howe Trophy twice in 1972-73 and 1974-75, the league's most valuable player, in a season in which he scored a career-best 77 goals.
He announced his retirement in the 1978-79 season, but decided to return the following season following the WHA-NHL merger. He played 18 games for the Jets in 1979-80 before being traded to the Hartford Whalers, where he played nine games for the team before retiring again.
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. His son Brett was also inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 after scoring 741 goals in his 19-year career. Bobby Hull and Brett Hull are the only father and son to each win the Hart Trophy. They are also the only father and son named to the 2017 list of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.
Brett Hull said in a statement from St. Louis Blues that his father left "a wealth of great memories" for his family and others.
"Those of us who were lucky enough to spend time with him will cherish it forever," Brett Hull said. "He will be missed terribly."
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Bobby Hull has finished in the top three in ten NHL seasons. Only Gordie Howe (12) and Alex Ovechkin (11) have more such cases.
The leading scorer in Blackhawks history, Bobby Hull, led the team to the Stanley Cup championship in 1961, ending a 23-year championship drought. AP Photo
The Blackhawks and Jets retired Hull City's No. 9. The Winnipeg team moved to Arizona in 1996 and was renamed the Coyotes, and Hull's No. 9 team was retired as a result. The Coyotes left the 2005 number so Brett Hull could wear it to honor his father.
Bobby Hull had 610 goals and 560 assists in 1,063 NHL regular-season games. In addition to his two Hart Trophies, he also won the Art Ross Trophy (for the points leader) three times and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1965 for his sportsmanship and outstanding performance.
Despite her starring role on Ice, Hull has been battling legal and family issues in her personal life.
Two of his three wives accused him of domestic violence. His second wife, figure skater Joanne McKay, claimed he held her on a balcony in Hawaii in 1966, hit her with a shoe and threatened to kill her with a loaded shotgun in 1978 she. His third wife, Deborah, filed charges after an incident in 1984 but later dropped them. However, Hull later pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer during his arrest and was fined $150 and served six months under court supervision.
In 1998, Hull came under fire for telling The Moscow Times that the black population in America was growing too fast and that "Hitler had some good ideas" but "just went a little too far."
The Blackhawks announced last year that Hull would no longer serve as team ambassador. The team said they redefined the role of team ambassador following the passing of Mikita in 2018 and Tony Esposito in 2021.