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The Golden Jet was flamboyant, fast

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Hull hit milestones against Rangers
By Nick Acocella
Special to

Signature Game
Feb. 21, 1970 - Bobby Hull's milestone goals always seemed to come against the New York Rangers. He notched his first 50-goal season by beating Gump Worsley in 1962 and when he became the first NHL player to score more than 50 in 1966, the 51st was scored against Cesare Maniago.

Tonight, in Chicago's 4-2 victory over the Rangers, the Golden Jet became the third player to score 500 goals, joining Maurice "Rocket" Richard and Gordie Howe in the exclusive club. Hull, 31 and playing in his 861st game, was given credit for No. 499 when a shot caromed off his skate and past goalie Eddie Giacomin in the second period.

Later in the period, Hull, standing on the left side of the crease, slammed No. 500 past Giacomin. The crowd of 18,000 in Chicago Stadium rewarded the 13-year veteran with a two-minute ovation.

Odds 'n' Ends

  • Hull's father, Robert Sr., played hockey for a team in Belleville, Ontario, near the family's home in Point Anne. As a youngster, he had been nicknamed "The Blond Flash."

  • Bobby first played in an organized hockey league with the Kiwanis Red Wings in Belleville. When he was 10, his team won the Bantam championship.

  • The same year, he saw his first NHL game, in Toronto. That night he got autographs from Detroit stars Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay.

  • Hull's coach with the St. Catherines Tee Pees was Rudy Pilous, who would join Chicago as coach midway in Hull's rookie season and remain in charge through the 1962-63 season.

  • Arguably the fastest player in the NHL, he was once clocked at 29.7 miles per hour during a game.

  • His memorable slap shot was once timed at 118.3 miles per hour.

  • He won the 1965 Lady Byng Trophy -- for the combination of sportsmanship and ability.

  • In 1969, he won the Lester Patrick Trophy, for outstanding service to hockey in the United States.

  • Hull still holds the Blackhawks' records for most goals in a season (58 in 1968-69) and a career (604).

  • When he scored the 58 goals, he played part of the season with his mouth wired shut after having had his jaw broken.

  • Hull spent his summers between seasons working on the farms of various relatives.

  • Hull has written two books. His autobiography, "Hockey Is My Game," was published in 1967, while Hockey Made Easy, with Roy Nelson, came out in 1983.

  • When Hull first broke the 100-point barrier -- with 107 points in the 1968-69 season -- he finished second in the NHL scoring race to Boston's Phil Esposito, who had 126 points.

  • Hull scored his 1,000th point on Dec. 12, 1970.

  • In 119 postseason NHL games, he scored 129 points (62 goals and 67 assists).

  • Hull averaged less than a minute a game in the penalty box in his NHL career. He was penalized 640 minutes in 1,063 games.

  • In the WHA he scored 303 goals and 335 assists for 638 points in 411 games.

  • In 1981, Hull attempted a comeback with the Rangers but never made it past exhibition games.

  • Chicago retired Hull's No. 9 on Dec. 18, 1983.

  • Since his retirement, Hull has been involved in a variety of farming and cattle breeding ventures in Canada. He also has made commercials, most notably for Milk Duds candy.

  • Hull makes money by signing autographs at card shows and attending celebrity golf outings.

  • Hull's brother Dennis also played for Chicago for 13 years beginning in 1964. Ending his career with Detroit in 1978, he finished with 303 goals and 351 assists for 654 points in 959 games.

  • With 88 goals, Bobby and Dennis hold the record for most goals scored by teammate brothers in a season.

  • Bobby and his former wife Joanne had five children: Bobby Jr., Blake, Brett, Bart and Michelle. Brett became an NHL star and his 679 goals through the 2001-2002 season are sixth most all-time. Bart played in the Canadian Football League.

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