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Bobby Hull on Gordie Howe

The Vancouver Sun's Elliott Pap spoke to Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull about his NHL career, his WHA career, the state of his Chicago Blackhawks and Hull's status as an honored guest of a birthday party held by one of his biggest rivals in the NHL and WHA.

On Friday, March 1st, the WHL's Vancouver Giants will celebrate the 85th birthday of Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, and Hull won't be alone on the guest list:

On March 1, the Vancouver Giants will throw an 85th birthday bash for minority owner Gordie Howe at Pacific Coliseum. Among the invited guests are Bobby and Dennis Hull, Johnny Bower, Marcel Dionne and Orland Kurtenbach.

Sun hockey reporter Elliott Pap caught up with The Golden Jet in Chicago Friday and the two chewed over a variety of topics, including Bobby’s relationship with Gordie — calls him ‘Gordon’ — his own career highlights, his one regret, the current edition of the Blackhawks and the state of the ’Hawks-Canucks rivalry.

Question: You played against Gordie for 14 years in the NHL and another six in the World Hockey Association before finishing your careers together in 1980 with the Hartford Whalers. What was your relationship with Gordie like?

Answer: I believe we had a mutual admiration society going. He knew that I was out there to play the game within the rules, to try to out-skate him, out-think him, out-pass him, out-shoot him and out-score him. And I felt the same way. Consistency is the mark of a true professional and Gordon was a true professional. He was consistent from the day he began playing in the league until he and I both retired from the same team in the same year. He was an amazing man to be able to play as long as he played and as well as he played.

Q: Were you ever on the receiving end of one of his famous elbows?

A: Gordon would play against you the same way that you played against him. He expected no elbows from me and I received none from him.

Q: When you were asked to come to Vancouver for Gordie’s 85th, were you thinking ‘holy cow, is Gordie really turning 85?’

A: When I broke into the National Hockey League in 1957, Gordon was 10-years-plus older than me and I just had my 74th birthday on Jan. 3. So I did realize it, yes. I think it’s a wonderful thing what the team in Vancouver (the Giants) is creating for one of the greatest, if not the greatest, athlete that ever played professional sports. I look forward to coming to Vancouver for this.

You may most certainly continue reading Pap's article, and I highly encourage you to do so.

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Comments

Bugsy's avatar

“Q: Were you ever on the receiving end of one of his famous elbows?

A: Gordon would play against you the same way that you played against him. He expected no elbows from me and I received none from him.”

I don’ t know why, but that struck a chord with me,.... You played him clean, he’d play you clean.

Posted by Bugsy on 02/23/13 at 12:21 PM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

That"s old school Bugsy . Wish we could bring it back liike they try to do everything else from the 50’s and 60’s

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 02/23/13 at 02:19 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.