Covering the Land of Lincoln

Remembering Bobby Hull and the night he appeared at a Rockford IceHogs’ game

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) – Any list of the greatest athletes in Chicago sports history has to include Bobby Hull. He was a legendary hockey player for the Blackhawks.

In the 1960s Bobby Hull was one of the most prolific scorers in the National Hockey League after joining the Blackhawks at the age of 18. In only his third season he led the league in scoring. He became the first NHL player to score 50 goals in a season.

In 1961 he and Stan Mikita led the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup championship. Hull won the Art Ross Trophy three times as the NHL’s leader in both goals and scoring. Twice he won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP.

He was known as the Golden Jet. A fast skater who had a lethal slapshot.

“When I played if I wasn’t scoring goals, I wasn’t a happy camper,” Hull said during a visit to Rockford more than a decade ago. During the IceHogs’ 2010-11 season, Hull made an appearance at an IceHogs game. He drew cheers and signed autographs. He told those of us in the media that day that he regretted leaving the Blackhawks after 15 seasons in 1972 when he signed a one million dollar deal with the World Hockey League’s Winnipeg Jets.

“It was likely something that should never had happened. I’m a little hard-headed. I’ve mellowed a great deal since then. Had I had this head on my shoulders back in 1972 it not likely would have happened.”

Hull’s relationship with the Blackhawks was strengthened in his later years when he worked as an ambassador for the organization.

“I love it,” said Hull. “I just love the organization.”

A cause of death has not been released.

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