As NHL's Third All-Time Leading Goal Scorer
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- Phoenix Coyotes right wing Brett Hull announced his retirement today after playing 19 seasons in the National Hockey League. A future Hockey Hall of Famer, Hull leaves the NHL as the game's active goal-scoring leader with 741, which also ranks third on the NHL's all-time goal scoring list.
The 41-year-old Hull played in 19 NHL seasons with the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes, and finished with an amazing 741 goals, 650 assists, 1,391 points and 458 penalty minutes in 1,269 games. In the history of the NHL, only Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) have scored more goals than Hull.
"I would like to thank Wayne Gretzky, Steve Ellman, Mike Barnett and Cliff Fletcher for giving me the opportunity to play for the Phoenix Coyotes organization," said Hull. "I am very proud of what I have accomplished in my career, but at 41, I felt that it was time to move on. I would also like to thank all of the players, coaches and management that I have been with over the past 19 seasons. I am very fortunate to have played for some class organizations in Calgary, St. Louis, Dallas, Detroit and Phoenix. I love the game of hockey and I appreciate everything the game has given to me and my family."
Hull earned an incredible nine selections to the NHL All-Star Game (1989-94, '96-97, '01). He won the Hart Trophy in 1991 as the NHL's Most Valuable Player and was also named MVP of the 1992 NHL All-Star Game. Hull was named as an NHL First Team All-Star three times (1990-92) and won the Lady Byng Trophy (as the NHL's most gentlemanly player) in 1990. He led the NHL in goal scoring three different times (1989-90, '90-91, '91-92).
"It's always a sad day when somebody has to retire, but Brett Hull did a tremendous amount for the game of hockey," said Coyotes' managing partner-head coach Wayne Gretzky. "It was a pleasure to play with Brett and it is a pleasure to be his friend."
In 202 career NHL playoff games, Hull scored 103 goals, 87 assists and 190 points. His 103 playoff goals rank 4th on the NHL's all-time list, trailing only Gretzky, Mark Messier and Jari Kurri. Hull won two Stanley Cup Championships in his career (1999 with Dallas and 2002 with Detroit), leading his team to victory both times. Hull scored the Cup-winning goal with Dallas in triple overtime of Game 6 against Buffalo on June 19, 1999, and while with Detroit in 2002, led the NHL in playoff goals with 10. From 1986 to 2004, Hull earned a trip to the playoffs in 19 consecutive seasons, the NHL's second longest all-time streak, trailing only Larry Robinson (20 straight years from 1973-1992).
"While we respect the decision Brett has made today, we regret seeing him go," said Coyotes' general manager Michael Barnett. "He brought skill, passion, and spirit to our hockey club for the too brief period he was here. Being in the presence of legends like Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky, most assuredly will benefit each and every player in our organization."
The Belleville, Ontario native is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the history of the NHL. He reached the 70-goal plateau three times, the 50-goal plateau five times, the 40-goal plateau eight times and the 30-goal plateau 13 times. In fact, the fewest goals that Hull scored in a full season is 24 (in 1999-00 with Dallas). Hull also eclipsed the 100-point plateau on four occasions.
Hull ranks 2nd on the NHL's all-time list in power play goals with 265, trailing only Dave Andreychuk by five power play goals (270). He ranks 3rd on the NHL's all-time list in game winning goals with 110, trailing only Howe (121) and Phil Esposito (118). Hull is 1st on the NHL's all-time playoff list in power play goals (38) and tied for 1st on the NHL's all-time playoff list in game winning goals (24). He is 18th on the NHL's all-time points list (6th among active players), 49th on the all-time assists list (15th among active players) and 43rd on the all-time games played list (11th among active players). Hull also ranks 6th on the NHL's all-time playoff points list (1st among active players), 15th on the all-time playoff games played list (3rd among active players) and T-28th on the all-time playoff assists list (T-9th among active players). His .510 goal-per-game playoff average ranks 15th all-time (among players with at least 20+ career playoff goals).
The best season of his amazing career came in 1990-91 when he set career highs in goals (86) and points (131) while with St. Louis. That year, Hull earned both the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award (NHL's most outstanding player as voted by the players). His 86 goals led the NHL and were the third most goals ever scored in a single National Hockey League season. Gretzky is the only NHL player ever to score more goals in a single season (92 in 1981-82; 87 in 1983-84).
Hull was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 6th round (117th overall) of the 1984 Entry Draft. He only played in 57 games with the Flames before being traded for the only time in his NHL career when he was dealt to St. Louis with Steve Bozek in exchange for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley on Mar. 7, 1988. He spent 10 and a half seasons with the Blues from 1987-88 to 1997-98, including a brief time as a teammate of Gretzky towards the end of the 1995-96 season. While with St. Louis, he served as the Blues' team captain. Hull then signed as a free agent with Dallas on July 3, 1998. After three seasons with the Stars, Hull then signed as a free agent with Detroit on Aug. 22, 2001.
On the international stage, Hull has represented Team USA at both Olympic (1998 and 2002) and World Cup (1991, 1996, and 2004) tournaments, winning a gold medal at the World Cup in 1996 and earning a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Hull joined the Coyotes on Aug. 6, 2004 when he signed as a free agent. Last weekend, in a pre-game ceremony prior to the Coyotes' home opener on Oct. 8, the Coyotes organization un-retired No. 9 -- which was previously retired by the Coyotes when they were the Winnipeg Jets in honor of Brett's father and Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull - so that Brett could wear his father's number.
Bobby and Brett formed the NHL's all-time highest scoring father/son combination and are the only father/son duo to each record 600 goals. Bobby Hull played 411 games for the Winnipeg Jets in the World Hockey Association from 1972-1978, collecting 303-335-638. Bobby also played one season in the NHL with the Jets (1978-79), recording 4-6-10 in 18 games. In 16 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers, Bobby registered 610-560-1,170 in 1,063 games and scored 50-or-more goals nine times, 80-or-more points 13 times and 100-or-more points five times.
Brett's legendary father Bobby made No. 9 famous while playing for the Winnipeg Jets and the Chicago Blackhawks. The No. 9 was retired by the Winnipeg Jets franchise on February 19, 1989 in a ceremony at the Winnipeg Arena in honor of Bobby, who played for the Jets from 1972-1979. Bobby played his last game for the Jets on December 12, 1979 in Quebec City versus the Nordiques. The No. 9 remained as a retired number by the Phoenix Coyotes franchise since the franchise relocated from Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996 until last weekend when it was un-retired for Brett to wear.
Tonight, the Coyotes will face Hull's former team, the Detroit Red Wings, at 7:00 p.m. at Glendale Arena. For ticket information, please call 480-563-PUCK (7825), or visit www.phoenixcoyotes.com.