Hockey Hall of Fame winger Bobby Hull died on Monday, according to an announcement from the NHL Alumni Association. He was 84. The official cause of death is not yet known.
“The Chicago Blackhawks are saddened by the passing of Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, a superstar for our franchise between 1957 and 1972,” the Blackhawks said in a statement. “Hull is part of an elite group of players who made a historic impact on our hockey club. The Golden Jet helped the Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup and delivered countless memories to our fans, whom he adored.
“Generations of Chicagoans were dazzled by Bobby’s shooting prowess, skating skill and overall team leadership that led to 604 career goals, a franchise record that remains to this day. We send our deepest sympathies to the Hull family.”
Hull spent 15 of his 17 NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and registered 604 goals and 549 assists in that time. The star winger was also a three-time Art Ross Trophy winner, won the Hart Trophy in back-to-back seasons (1964-65 and 1965-66), and was elected to 10 All-Star Games.
Hull also helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup during the 1960-61 season, when Chicago defeated the Detroit Red Wings in six games.
He announced his retirement during the 1978-79 season, but elected to return the very next season after the WHA merged with the NHL. Hull appeared in 18 games for the Winnipeg Jets during the 1979-80 campaign then was traded to the Hartford Whalers, where he played nine games before announcing his retirement for the final time.
Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and had his No. 9 jersey retired by the Blackhawks in that very same year.
Hull, who earned the nickname “The Golden Jet” for his stellar skating ability, became the first player in NHL history to score more than 50 goals in a single season. The Blackhawks legend scored 54 goals during the 1965-66 season and passed Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Bernie Geoffrion as the only player to top 50 goals.
In 2008, the Hall of Famer was named as a Chicago team ambassador, along with fellow Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita. However, in February 2022, the team announced that Hull would no longer be serving in that role going forward after fellow team ambassadors Mikita and Tony Esposito had died.
While Hull had an exceptional career on the ice, his life was filled with controversy away from it. The former Blackhawks star faced domestic abuse allegations from two of his three wives. Hull’s third wife, Deborah, even filed charges stemming from an incident in 1984, but ended up eventually dropping them. Hull also pled guilty to attempting to punch a police officer during his arrest and was fined $150 as a result of the incident. In 1998, he was criticized for complaining about the Black population in the United States and saying that “Hitler had some good ideas” and “just went a bit too far” in an interview with The Moscow Times.