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INTRODUCTION


Bobby Hull, the signature signing of the WHA's Winnipeg Jets in 1972, is one of hockey's all-time greatest players. An inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984, he had a 15-year career in the NHL, playing over 1000 games for the Chicago Black Hawks, winning the Stanley Cup in in 1961. He led the NHL in goals 7 times and was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team 10 times. Hull would play 411 WHA games, all with Winnipeg, scoring 638 points (303G, 335A) and led the team to Avco Cup wins in 1976, 1978 and 1979. He was named WHA MVP twice, in 1973 and 1975. Hull, who was born in Point Anne, Ont., won the Canada Cup in 1976.

A Look Back

A LOOK BACK AT THE CAREER OF WINNIPEG JET HALL OF FAMER BOBBY HULL AND HIS CAREER IN WINNIPEG

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENTS

1972-1980 AS A WINNIPEG JET

AWARDS
  • Avco Cup (WHA) Championships (1976, 1978, and 1979)
  • Art Ross Trophy winner (1960, 1962, and 1966)
  • Hart Memorial Trophy winner (1965 and 1966)
  • Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner (1965)
  • Lester Patrick Trophy winner (1969)
  • Honoured Member" of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame
  • Member of the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame[10]
  • Inaugural member of the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame.
  • Honoured member of the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
  • WHA Most Valuable Player (1973 and 1975)

 

ACHIEVEMENTS
  • 51, 53, 77, 53, 46 goals as a Jet
  • NHL First All-Star Team Left Wing (1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972)
  • Stanley Cup champion (1961)v
  • NHL Second All-Star Team Left Wing (1963 and 1971)
  • WHA First All-Star Team (1973, 1974, and 1975)
  • WHA Second All-Star Team (1976 and 1978)
  • Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983/Second in WHA history in goals, sixth in assists and third in points.

Career Statistics

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM +/- GP G A    
1955-56 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 48 11 7 18 0            
1956-57 St. Catharines Teepees OHA 52 33 28 61 0            
1957-58 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 13 34 47 62   -- -- -- -- --
1958-59 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 18 32 50 50   6 1 1 2 2
1959-60 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 39 42 81 68   3 1 0 1 2
1960-61 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 67 31 25 56 43   12 4 10 14 4
1961-62 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 50 34 84 35   12 8 6 14 12
1962-63 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 65 31 31 62 27   5 8 2 10 4
1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 43 44 87 50   7 2 5 7 2
1964-65 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 61 39 32 71 32   14 10 7 17 27
1965-66 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 65 54 43 97 70   6 2 2 4 10
1966-67 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 66 52 28 80 52   6 4 2 6 0
1967-68 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 71 44 31 75 39   11 4 6 10 15
1968-69 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 74 58 49 107 48   -- -- -- -- --
1969-70 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 61 38 29 67 8   8 3 8 11 2
1970-71 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 78 44 52 96 32   18 11 14 25 16
1971-72 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 78 50 43 93 24   8 4 4 8 6
1972-73 Winnipeg Jets WHA 63 51 52 103 37   14 9 16 25 16
1973-74 Winnipeg Jets WHA 75 53 42 95 38   4 1 1 2 4
1974-75 Winnipeg Jets WHA 78 77 65 142 41   -- -- -- -- --
1975-76 Winnipeg Jets WHA 80 53 70 123 30   13 12 8 20 4
1976-77 Winnipeg Jets WHA 34 21 32 53 14   20 13 9 22 2
1977-78 Winnipeg Jets WHA 77 46 71 117 23   9 8 3 11 12
1978-79 Winnipeg Jets WHA 4 2 3 5 0 1 -- -- -- -- --
1979-80 Winnipeg Jets NHL 18 4 6 10 0 -7 -- -- -- -- --
1979-80 Hartford Whalers NHL 9 2 5 7 0 -3 3 0 0 0 0
WHA Totals   411 303 335 638 183   60 43 37 80 38  
NHL Totals   1063 610 560 1170 640   119 62 67 129 102  

Hull's Story

BY GEOFF KIRBYSON

The Winnipeg Jets and the WHA needed Bobby Hull a lot more than he needed them.

Back in 1971, the Golden Jet was a disgruntled employee of the Chicago Black Hawks but he was still arguably the best player in the world and playing the sport he loved in the NHL.

Hull wanted to be paid accordingly but Arthur Wirtz owned his rights in perpetuity and wasn't going to be forced into anything he didn't want to do.

And he didn't want to pay Hull a nickel more, even though the highest-scoring left winger in history was almost singlehandedly filling the Chicago Stadium, and, simultaneously, Wirtz's pockets.

Enter Benny Hatskin. The former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and juke box hustler had decided Hull was not only going to be the meal ticket for his new hockey team, but for the entire World Hockey Association.

"When I first mentioned the Winnipeg Jets would try to sign Bobby Hull, everybody thought it was just a publicity stunt. But I was never more serious about anything in my life," Hatskin said.

Wirtz didn't know Hatskin from a gramophone but he would find out soon enough that when the heavy-set Winnipegger put his mind to something, he was rarely disappointed.

"Bobby Hull leaving the Black Hawks for a league that nobody had ever heard of was unthinkable, unbelievable. Except it happened," says Bob Verdi, a 27-year-old beat writer for the Chicago Tribune at the time.

Hull met the Jets owner at the Hotel Vancouver during what would turn out to be his last season in Chicago. "Right from the beginning I enjoyed meeting Ben Hatskin. He was a little rough around the edges, maybe he was a little bit like me. I knew he was sincere in what he said and his handshake was his bond," the Golden Jet says.

"He said, 'Bobby, we'd like you to come and play in Winnipeg for $250,000 per season and $100,000 per season if you want to coach or manage after that.' I said, 'that's a very generous offer, Mr. Hatskin, but I think I can get $250,000 from the Chicago Black Hawks.

Besides, I've got the rest of my year under contract to them and the playoffs and then we can talk about it.'"

 

It wasn't to be the last time I'd meet with him. It's too bad more executives and owners weren't like Ben Hatskin.

BOBBY HULL

Once he signed with the Jets - thanks, in large part, to a $1-million bonus - he immediately became the face of not only his team but an ambassador for the entire league and the defacto senior vice-president of autographs. And when he signed your picture, hockey card or popcorn box - often while the rest of the team was waiting for him on the bus - you could read it.

"Of course I want you to be able to read it. I'm very proud of my name," he says.

In addition to being a playercoach for several seasons, he was an integral part of The Luxury Line, with Chris Bordeleau and Norm Beaudin and the legendary Hot Line, with Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg.

He sat out a game in the 1974-75 season to protest the growing violence in hockey and championed the Jets blazing a trail in scouting far away lands - Sweden and Finland - for new talent.

In six-plus seasons in the WHA, Hull torched goalies for 303 goals and 335 assists for a total of 638 points. He has the third-highest goal-scoring average in league history at 0.737 and the third-highest pointsper-game average at 1.552. He was the WHA's MVP in 1973 and 1975 and led the Jets to two AVCO Cup championships in 1976 and 1978.

Note: Chicago's team was "Black Hawks" until 1986 when it was changed to "Blackhawks."