bobby hull, 1939—2023

The NHL Alumni Association is reporting this morning that Bobby Hull has died at the age of 84. His pre-eminence as a left winger who played 15 years for the Chicago Black Hawks can’t be denied. He led the team to a Stanley Cup championship in 1961 and, continuing to unleash his slapshot through the ensuing decade, scored and scored. Hull became the first NHLer to score more than 50 goals in a season when he notched 54 in 1965-66.  Three times he won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer, and he remains Chicago’s all-time leading goalscorer, in both the regular season and playoffs. Twice he won the Hart Trophy; he was ten times a First Team NHL All-Star. He kept scoring in the WHA afters million-dollar defection from the NHL in 1972.  With the Winnipeg Jets, he won a pair of Avco World Trophy championships with the Jets and was twice named the league’s MVP.  He was voted to the Hall of Fame  in 1983.

Hull’s legacy also includes accusations of abuse from two of his wives. He was charged in 1986 in Illinois for an assault on his third wife, Deborah; that charge was subsequently withdrawn when she told the court she did not want to proceed. In that same incident, Hull was fined $150 for assault of a police officer.


(Painting by LeRoy Neiman)