Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby “The Golden Jet” Hull has died at 84, the NHL Alumni Association announced Monday.
A 12-time All-Star and two-time Hart Trophy winner, Hull played the first 15 seasons of his 23-year pro career with Chicago and helped the Blackhawks capture the 1961 Stanley Cup.
He is Chicago’s all-time leader in goals (604) and ranks third in points (1,153) after longtime teammate Stan Mikita (1,467) and active forward Patrick Kane (1,214).
“The Chicago Blackhawks are saddened by the passing of Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, a superstar for our franchise between 1957 and 1972,” the team said in a statement. “Hull is part of an elite group of players who made a historic impact on our hockey club. The Golden Jet helped the Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup and 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.”
Hull, who earned his nickname due to his blond hair and his speed, was also known for his ferocious slap shot that was once reportedly clocked at 118 mph.
He led the NHL in scoring three times and earned back-to-back Hart trophies as the league’s MVP in 1964-65 and 1965-66.
“Bobby Hull will always be remembered as one of the greatest Blackhawks players of all time,” Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. “He was a beloved member of the Blackhawks family. When I assumed leadership of the organization upon my father’s passing in 2007, one of my first priorities was to meet with Bobby to convince him to come back as an ambassador of the team. His connection to our fans was special and irreplaceable. On behalf of the entire Wirtz family, I offer our deepest condolences on the loss of Bobby Hull, the Golden Jet. He will be missed.”
In 1972 he left Chicago to join the World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets as a player/coach, signing the first $1 million contract in the history of the sport.
Hull was a two-time Gordie Howe Trophy (MVP) winner in the WHA and helped the Jets win the Avco Cup in 1976 and 1978.
The Ontario native retired after the 1979-80 season with a combined 1,808 points (913 goals, 895 assists) in 1,474 games with Chicago (1957-72), Winnipeg (1972-80) and the Hartford Whalers (1980). He scored 129 points in 119 Stanley Cup playoff games and scored 80 points in 60 career WHA playoff games.
Hull’s No. 9 is retired by the Blackhawks and the Jets. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, where he was joined by his son, Brett, in 2009.
--Field Level Media