Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: Bobby Hull
from Bob Verdi at the Chicago Tribune,
During the 1971-72 season, Hull was skating circles with the Blackhawks about a new contract while a rival to the National Hockey League, the World Hockey Association, prepared to exist. Arthur Wirtz, owner of the Blackhawks, did not take the threat very seriously, along with most of his brethren.
But Jack Kent Cooke, a Torontonian entrepreneur who owned the Kings and basketball's Lakers, expressed concern. Also, he was frustrated about poor attendance for the Kings at his new palace, the Fabulous Forum. It was Cooke who famously remarked that he came to understand why 800,000 Canadians moved to Southern California. Huffed Cooke: "Because they hate hockey."
As rumors grew about Hull's discussions with the WHA Winnipeg Jets, Cooke, who always thought big, thought really big. Wirtz owned the Stadium where the Bulls played and was in the process of securing a majority stake in the franchise itself. The Bulls were averaging only about 11,000 per date in Chicago, and the Kings desperately needed a marquee player in Los Angeles.
Instead of even tempting fate by allowing The Golden Jet to escape the NHL and provide the WHA instant traction, Cooke had an idea: he would trade superstar Chamberlain to the Bulls, and Hull would join the Kings. That would help both teams, both leagues and might doom the WHA before it ever established credibility.
from Bill Dow at Detroit Athletic,
Although Chicago was loaded with talent, including future Hall of Famers Stan Mikita and Phil Esposito, to succeed, the Wings knew they had to find a way to stop Hull, plain and not so simple. Other teams had attempted it during the season by assigning players to shadow the superstar and try to slow him down, but Hull was still able to score a record 54 goals.
Employing a “check and chase” strategy, Wings coach Sid Abel assigned forward Paul Henderson to “shadow” Hull in the first game of the semifinals. But after the Golden Jet netted the game wining goal in the Hawks 2-1 victory, Abel then turned to Bryan Watson, a spirited and gutsy young player not afraid to sacrifice his body.
Thanks to Gordie, Bryan Watson became “Bugsy” and before long he would make a career out of his unique ability to violently provoke opponents into joining him in the penalty box.
“When I played in Montreal, I saw how well Claude Provost had shadowed Bobby, and I had done it myself with the Canadiens”, Watson said.
Although 25 pounds lighter than Hull, the part time penalty killer volunteered to “shadow” the Golden Jet.
Teammate Bill Gadsby fondly remembered Abel’s words to Watson.
“Sid told Bugsy, ‘if Bobby Hull goes to the concession stand, you go with him and put the sugar in his coffee.’”
read on if you enjoy “old school” hockey stories…
Also, check out this from Gary Ronberg of Sports Illustrated from November, 1966…
from Stu Hackel of Sports Illustrated,
If hockey ever produced a cautionary tale, it’s the life of Bobby Hull. That tale, and not merely recounting Hull’s on-ice exploits, is the approach taken by award-winning Toronto author Gare Joyce in his excellent new book, The Devil and Bobby Hull (John Wiley & Sons, 274 pages).
Hull was hockey’s biggest attraction in the waning days of the Original Six era, more charismatic than the laconic Gordie Howe, flashier than the decorous Jean Beliveau. In his day, he was King of the Ice ( to borrow the honorific crown conjured up by the late Paul Quarrington in his great 1988 hockey novel, King Leary). Hull’s reign was wedged between those of Rocket Richard and Bobby Orr, although he was hardly in decline during Orr’s peak. He was not only the NHL’s top goal scorer — the first NHLer to break the 50-goal barrier in a season — but also it’s most explosive, visible and marketable player.
The Devil and Bobby Hull is available at Amazon.com (affiliate link).
from Mike Spellman of the Chicago Daily-Herald,
The transition from cold shoulder to warm embrace is finally, finally complete for Blackhawks legends Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull.
After decades of being snubbed by the organization they brought back to prominence in the 1960s and ’70s, the pair finally were honored in a truly fitting way — with the unveiling of bigger-than-life bronze statues Saturday night outside the United Center.
“This is a timeless reminder that our franchise took another step forward as we honor the two greatest players who have ever worn the Chicago Blackhawks sweater,” said Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough.
And Mikita and Hull couldn’t have been more pleased.
Standing on a stage just outside of Gate 3½, under illuminated 40-foot banners featuring their likenesses (which will remain up through Monday) and with hundreds of fans ringing the plaza, Hull spoke from his heart.
“I never, ever thought in 100 years that I’d be standing here tonight,” he told the energized crowd. “This is the greatest night of my life.”
continued and watch a video of the unveiling below…
via Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune (watch the video),
Bobby Hull played in an era when most hockey players did not wear helmets. But the Blackhawks Hall of Famer insists he is thinking clearly about the direction of the game and its tragic offseason.
“I’ve had some time to think about it. And I believe it goes back to the Philadelphia Flyers (known as the Broad Street Bullies) winning the Stanley Cup with a bunch of harem-scarems,” said Hull prior to receiving a lifetime achievement award from the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night at Hawthorne Race Course.
“From there they stopped scouting guys like Mr. (Stan) Mikita and Henri Richard … guys who could play and entertain. They started scouting guys that were over 6 feet and over 200 pounds. And they were told that they didn’t care whether they scored or helped anyone else score.
“Now, all the way around the league, there were enforcers. Some thought they were the chief enforcer, but they found out after a round around the league that they were not. So then steroids came into effect, and (that) tried to make them the top dog. I think that’s where it all began.”
Once again, while waiting for what seems to be forever for training camp to start, I was killing some time. While looking through the Hawks “All Time Statistics” I was actually a little surprised by some facts. Steve Larmer (Blackhawks from the 1980-1981 season through 1992-1993) ranks fourth on the list for scoring. Stan Mikita ranks number one, followed by Bobby Hull, and then Denis Savard. No real surprise there, I knew he was Top 5, at least. But when you actually start breaking down the numbers, a couple of things stuck out.
Steve played in 891 games (10 more than than Savard) while racking up 923 points (1,096 for Savvy). Larmer scored 406 goals (third highest on the Hawks) and had 517 assists (fourth best). He leads all right wingers, historically, for Chicago. Overall, he was a +182 in his career. Those figures weren’t kept back in Stosh & Bobby’s playing days.—- It would be interesting to see exactly when +/-, power play goals, short handed goals, and other stats became to be recorded. Another article I guess.
If I may steal a line or two from Sir Paul, Memory “Lane is in my ears and in my eyes…” These are some of my earliest and favorite Blackhawk memories.
The Program / Bobby Hull
My late Uncle Joe (and Godfather) attended a Hawks game during the 1968 - 1969 season. After the game he brought the program (a 65 page booklet which cost a quarter) to a bar near the old Chicago Stadium, where the players would hang out after the game. He got several Hawks to sign it, including, Phil Esposito (Yeah, we traded him) Stan Mikita, Wayne Maki, Pierre Pilote, Dennis Hull, and Bobby Hull. When The Golden Jet signed the book, he also went through all the pages signing every picture of him to “Vince, Best Wishes”. My uncle bought him a drink, which he of course accepted, and moved on. When it was Bobby’s turn for a round later on, he told the bartender “..and one for my friend Joe” When my uncle left the bar later that evening, Bobby yelled across the bar, “Thanks again for the drink Joe, say hi to your nephew for me.” (Btw, in the back of the program was an ad for the Chicago Basketball Bulls. Seats sold from $2. - $3.50. Court side seats could be purchased for a hefty $5)
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
Some might call it a bold move for Evander Kane.
As it stands right now, the Winnipeg Jets winger is planning to wear the No. 9 made famous by The Golden Jet, Bobby Hull — provided he can get his permission.
“It’s almost like asking a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage,” Kane told The Vancouver Province. “I’ve read somewhere on Twitter that he had done an interview and said that he wanted me to wear it proudly. I don’t know if that’s true or not. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to speak to him soon. If he doesn’t have an issue with me wearing it, I’ll do my best on and off to live up to wearing that number. If I have to change, I’ll change.”
from Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun,
He’s a hardened, often cynical 71-year-old, with a voice as rough as Manitoba gravel and a tongue sharper than a Wiltshire.
But there was Bobby Hull, overcome with emotion, his eyes welling with tears and his voice quivering like the goaltenders he used to stare down.
All it had taken to reduce the Golden Jet to a whimper was a reunion with Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson — the first time the Hot Line had come together on Winnipeg soil since they were members of the Winnipeg Jets in 1978.
“If they ever invited me to drink out of that Cup, I’d jump through the rim of my own butt and hang myself just to get another drink out of it.”
-HHOF member Bobby Hull when asked what he would do if Chicago won the Cup. More from some of the Chicago ambassadors by Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
He’s (Brett Hull) done a wonderful job and I knew that he wanted to be involved in putting a team together, but he had just been retired two years and all of a sudden he’s general manager in Dallas and doing a masterful job of putting his team into the third round. I think if they had maybe a little more astute coaching, they might have beat Detroit. I said before the playoffs started that it would be Pittsburgh and Dallas in the finals and I wasn’t far astray.
more from Bobby Hull in a Q & A at the the Daily Gleaner…
from Jay Mariotti of the Sun-Times,
There was Bobby Hull, back from the darkness. There was Stan Mikita, back from the cold. And there were the Hawks, the mighty Blackhawks, back where they belong in the bosom of Chicago sports on a memorable evening when an illustrious past was attached to a hopeful future.
‘‘I spent so many years proudly wearing the Indian head sweater,’’ said Mikita, who arrived with Hull for the center-ice ceremony in a custom ‘57 Chevy. ‘‘But tonight, I’m even more proud to be welcomed back and to be part of the great moments that lie ahead for this franchise.’‘
fro Van Oler via ChicagoBlackhawks.com,
Spend enough time at the United Center watching the Blackhawks and you’ll inevitably hear someone comment that this season’s game-night excitement and buzz reminds them of the days when “the Blackhawks owned this town, I tell ya! You couldn’t get a ticket unless it was left to you in somebody’s will!”
With Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull returning the UC tonight, it’s useful to look back at their time with the Blackhawks to see if there’s evidence that the team was, in fact, the best in town.
from the Chicago Tribune,
Bobby Hull created a roar from Blackhawks fans during his playing days, and he’s thrilled to put hard feelings behind and be part of a new roar building around the team.
“Thirty-five years away from there, and it’s just wonderful to be home again,” Hull said last week while wearing his familiar No. 9 Hawks sweater with the “A” on the chest as he took part in a Montreal ceremony honoring Hawks and Canadiens greats.
continued (reg. may be req.)
Now, many of you may not remember the Golden Jet in action, so watch this feature on Bobby Hull…
from the Chicago Blackhawks,
Former Chicago Blackhawks players and Hockey Hall of Fame members Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita have rejoined the Chicago Blackhawks family and have been named as official Blackhawks ambassadors. Hull and Mikita will represent the Blackhawks at events at the United Center and throughout the Chicagoland area.
continued with response from both Hull and Mikita.
Why is the Golden Jet smiling?
Read on and you will find a “sometime” hockey blogger smiling too!