Pioneering Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull has died at the age of 84, the NHL Alumni Association announced in a statement shared on its official Twitter account Monday (January 30) morning.
Hull was a back-to-back Hart Trophy winner -- given to the NHL's most valuable player -- during the 1964-65 and 1965-66 seasons, as well as a 12-time All-Star and Stanley Cup champion during his professional hockey career, which included 15 NHL seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks (1957-72) and one split between the Winnipeg Jets (1979-80) and Hartford Whalers (1979-80), as well as seven with the Jets in the World Hockey Association (1972-79), having served as a player/coach, prior to the 1979 NHL merger.
"Hull was a driven player who always gave fans a memorable experience at every game and brought them to their feet," the NHL Alumni Twitter account wrote. "In his retirement, “The Golden Jet” was never in a rush to sign every autograph as an ambassador for the Blackhawks, one of his favourite accomplishments.
"Bobby was a 3x Art Ross Trophy winner, Lester Patrick Trophy winner, 2x Hart Memorial Trophy winner, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner, Stanley Cup Champion, Hockey Hall of Famer, and one of the @NHL’s 100 Greatest Players."
Hull is the Blackhawks' franchise leader in goals scored with 604, having etched a legacy with one of the most feared slap shots in NHL history, reported to have been clocked at 118 MPH and famously shot off a curved blade of his wooden stick. The left winger signed hockey's first $1 million contract to leave the Blackhawks to join the Jets as a player/coach in the WHA in 1972, spending seven seasons with the franchise before initially announcing his retirement during the 1978-79 season and un-retiring after the WHA merged with the NHL.
Hull and his son, fellow Hall of Famer Brett Hull, are the only father and son duo to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and be named among the 100 Greatest NHL Players list in 2017.