Hall of Fame hockey player Bobby Hull, the Golden Jet, dies at 84
CHICAGO (AP) — When Bobby Hull got the puck, he was tough to stop. He had blazing speed, a hard slap shot and tons of confidence.
Long before today’s biggest stars took the ice, “The Golden Jet” put on quite a show.
Hull, a Hall of Fame winger and two-time NHL MVP who helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961, has died. He was 84.
The Blackhawks and the NHL Alumni Association announced the death on Monday. There were no further details provided by either organization.
The Blackhawks said Hull “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 was one of the most prolific forwards in NHL history, scoring 610 times during his 16-year career with Chicago, Hartford and Winnipeg. Nicknamed “The Golden Jet” for his speed and blond hair, he also collected 303 goals while playing for the Jets in the World Hockey Association for seven seasons.
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and his No. 9 sweater was retired by the Blackhawks that same year. He was estranged from the team for a while before he was named a Blackhawks ambassador in a ceremony with former teammate Stan Mikita in 2008. Hull and Mikita have adjacent statues outside the United Center.
The franchise announced in February 2022 that Hull had retired from any official team role, calling it a joint decision.
“Bobby Hull will always be remembered as one of the greatest Blackhawks players of all time. He was a beloved member of the Blackhawks family,” team owner Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. “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.”
Bobby Hull helped the Blackhawks return to the top of the NHL after they were one of the worst teams in the league for years before his debut during the 1957-58 season. He had 13 goals and 34 assists in his first campaign with the team, finishing second in the Calder Trophy race for rookie of the year.
It was a steady rise from there. Hull posted 13 consecutive seasons with 30 goals or more from 1959-72, becoming a perennial fixture at the All-Star Game and a regular candidate for the league’s top awards.
Hull and Mikita powered Chicago to the franchise’s third championship in 1961, beating Montreal and Detroit in the playoffs. Hull had two goals and five assists as the Blackhawks eliminated the Red Wings in six games in the final.
The Pointe Anne, Ontario, native remains Chicago’s career leader for regular-season and playoff goals. He is second to Mikita on the franchise points list with 1,153.