Sports world reacts to death of Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull
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Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull died on Monday at the age of 84. He played for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks through the 1960s before jumping to the Winnipeg Jets of the upstart World Hockey Association in 1972 before a brief return to the NHL in 1979.
Here are some reactions to Hull’s death from the world of sports:
“He helped grow the league to where it is today, and bringing in those four teams from the World Hockey (Association) in 1979 and the continued expansion after that,” said current Winnipeg Jets head coach Rick Bowness. “Just an unreal hockey player. His stats will speak for itself, the Hockey Hall of Fame. Just a great hockey player. His impact on our league is very obvious. And the growth of our league, he played a big part in that.”
“Someone you want to be around all the time,” said St. Louis Blues head coach Craig Berube, who offered his condolences to the Hull family including longtime friend Brett, Bobby’s son and fellow Hall of Famer. “Just a fun guy, just like stories and great to talk to about things. He’s just one of those guys that when he walked into a room, everybody wanted to be around him and notice him. He’s just a lot of fun.”
“From what I remember, he was one of the first guys to start curving his stick like the way that guys do nowadays,” said current Jets forward Sam Gagner. “To have that kind of booming shot, that was unique in his time. So he changed the game in that way for sure. You look at some of the curves that guys are using now, he had a big impact on that.”
“So sad to hear of the passing of Bobby Hull, a legend in every sense of the word,” said Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent in a tweet that had three photos of him with Hull in a wheelchair. “This was the last time we met, July 30, 2022. I told him that he still had the hardest shot I’ve ever faced. I would cover every ‘important’ part of my body and say ‘Oh Lord please let him score!'”
“Sad to hear of the passing of friend and fellow Canuck Bobby Hull. One of the greatest to ever lace them up. Never a dull moment with Bobby, we’ll miss you pal. My thoughts are with the Hull family,” tweeted Hall of Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins, who played for the Chicago Cubs when Hull was on the Blackhawks.
“Rest in Peace to Jets legend Bobby Hull. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and his fans in Manitoba, Chicago, and around the world,” said Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson. “Thanks for all the great hockey.”
“Bobby Hull was a really great hockey player, and, by several accounts, a terrible person who engaged in racist and abusive behaviour,” said Evan F. Moore, co-author of “Game Misconduct: Hockey’s Toxic Culture and How To Fix It, in a tweet, referring to several allegations of spousal abuse and a quote attributed to Hull in a 1998 Moscow Times article where he voiced support of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Hull denied making the racist comment and sued the English-language paper for libel.
“There’s no way to whitewash a legacy Hull had full responsibility in creating.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.