Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Bobby Hull died on Monday at the age of 84.
The NHL Alumni Association is deeply saddened to learn that Bobby Hull has passed away at the age of 84.— NHL Alumni (@NHLAlumni) January 30, 2023
Bobby began his NHL career with the @NHLBlackhawks in 1957. He would go on to play 15 seasons with the team, one season with Winnipeg, and another with Hartford, amounting.. pic.twitter.com/pOIioAgwd4
Hull is at or near the top of virtually every offensive category in Blackhawks franchise history, following a 15-year stint with the team that included 1,036 regular-season games — sixth all-time among Blackhawks. He’s also first in goals (604), fifth in assists (549), third in points (1,153), second in power-play goals (152), first in game-winning goals (98), first in shots on goal (4,539) and first in hat tricks (28).
But tensions with Blackhawks ownership sent Hull to the World Hockey Association for most of the 1970s before he returned to the NHL, playing for the Winnipeg Jets and Hartford Whalers for the 1979-80 season, which became his final professional one.
Following his on-ice career, though, Hull’s legacy was tarnished by his own actions, including with pro-Nazi comments reported by the Moscow Times in 1998 and multiple allegations of domestic abuse from multiple partners.
Hull was named a Blackhawks team ambassador in 2008, in a ceremony with long-time teammate Stan Mikita. The two were immortalized in a statue just outside the United Center that was revealed in 2011. Mikita died in 2018 and the Blackhawks reportedly ended Hull’s role as team ambassador early in 2022.
[UPDATE] The Blackhawks just released this statement:
The Chicago Blackhawks are saddened by the passing of Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, a superstar for our franchise between 1957 and 1972. 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.
[UPDATE II] And here’s a statement from team owner Rocky Wirtz:
Bobby Hull will always be remembered as one of the greatest Blackhawks players of all time. He was a beloved member of the Blackhawks family. When I assumed leadership of the organization upon my father’s passing in 2007, one of my first priorities was to meet with Bobby to convince him to come back as an ambassador of the team. His connection to our fans was special and irreplaceable. On behalf of the entire Wirtz family, I offer our deepest condolences on the loss of Bobby Hull, the Golden Jet. He will be missed.