Getting honored for his on-ice accomplishments is nothing new for Brett Hull.
It’s becoming quite common, actually.
Like when he won the Lady Byng Trophy for good sportsmanship in 1990, or the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP in 1991. Or the time he earned a silver medal as a member of Team USA at the Winter Olympics in 1991, or Stanley Cup Championship rings in 1999 and 2002. He’s even had his No. 16 jersey retired to the rafters in St. Louis and received a permanent spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
The only thing he hadn’t received was a statue erected in his honor.
Prior to Saturday’s 2010-11 season opener vs. the Philadelphia Flyers, the Blues unveiled a life-size bronze statue of Hull outside Scottrade Center.
"When I was told about the statue, I was extremely honored," Hull told the crowd gathered outside for the unveiling ceremony. "To be alongside two great players like Al (MacInnis) and Bernie (Federko) and the wonderful things they did, not only for the Blues but in their careers and in the community, it's going to be wonderful to be here immortalized in bronze with them."
The statue was designed by Jack Nortz of MTM Recognition.
Hull met with Nortz to discuss the project and posed in full uniform for photographs from all different angles. Nortz created a ¼ scale sculpture before beginning work on the actual sculpture, which took nearly three months to complete.
The final product joins those of Al MacInnis and Bernie Federko in front of Scottrade Center’s main entrance at the intersection of 14th and Clark Avenue.
Hull holds the Blues’ franchise records in goals (527), hat tricks (27), game-winning goals (70), power play goals (195) and shots on goal (3,367). He played in St. Louis beginning in 1988 and stayed through the 1997-98 season.
His NHL career spanned 1,269 games, where he scored 741 goals and 650 assists (1,391) points. Together with his father, Bobby, Hull became the first father-son combination in NHL history to each score 600 goals and 1,000 points.
In addition, Hull ranks third all-time in goals scored in a single season when he scored 86 during the 1990-91 season. It was the most ever by a right winger.
“Brett had it all,” former teammate Curtis Joseph said last year after reminiscing on his playing days with Hull in St. Louis. “He was always smiling and scoring and had a great personality and was a smart guy. He was the whole package and it was great to play with him.”
Hull’s speech to St. Louis fans last season at his Hockey Hall of Fame Induction night at Scottrade Center still resonates with fans: “You just don’t have the success you have unless you’re surrounded by great people, great fans and a great city,” he said.
“And this place, St. Louis, is indelibly etched in my life. It’s a wonderful place, and I’ll have a BlueNote on my heart forever.”