LCS Hockey: Born Again
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April 22, 2018
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LCS Top 100: No. 7

7. Bobby Hull: Raised on an Ontario farm, Hull possessed freakish strength. He was like a Canadian Jethro Bodine. His raw power made him one of the game's fastest skaters and hardest shooters. Legend has it his slap shot clocked at 120 mph. While it may seem like a tall tale, you won't find many goaltenders who would disagree. Goalies lived in fear of seeing the Golden Jet streaking up ice and unleashing his widow-maker. Hull would purposely rip shots high to intimidate netminders and to set them up for the rest of the game. Once he got in their heads, Hull would start filling the net with low slappers along the ice. Worked every time.

Hull and teammate Stan Mikita were the first players to curve their sticks, taking full advantage of the innovation before the league could enforce any restrictions as to the curve's size. Hull's exaggerated hook only added velocity and movement to his already fearsome shot. In his 15 years with the Chicago Blackhawks, Hull's canon rang up five 50-goal seasons, and he led the league in goals a staggering seven times. He was named a 1st-Team All-Star on 10 occasions and captured three Art Ross Trophies and two Harts, winning MVP honors in 1965 and 1966. Hull won his lone Stanley Cup in 1961, registering 14 points in 12 playoff games.

In 1972, a 33-year-old Hull, fresh off a 50-goal season, signed with the Winnipeg Jets of the rival World Hockey Association for $1 million. Hull's charisma energized the upstart league, and he remained a superstar performer, recording four 50-goal campaigns in his seven WHA seasons. His 1974-75 campaign was truly spectacular, as he posted 77 goals and 142 points in 78 contests.

When the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979, an aging and injured Hull played 18 games with the Jets before ending his season and career with the Hartford Whalers, managing two goals and seven points in nine contests. And don't forget Hull actually skated with Gordie Howe in Hartford. Th'ar she blows!


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