Bobby Hull Dies: NHL Legend Was First To Score 50 Goals In One Season

Bobby Hull, the NHL Hall of Famer who was the first to score 50 goals in a single season and is considered perhaps the greatest player in Chicago Blackhawks history, died Monday. the NHL Alumni Association said. He was 84.

The Original Six team for which he played 15 seasons 1957-72 cited his “historic impact” on the club, tweeting, “The Golden Jet helped the Blackhawks win the 1961 Stanley Cup and delivered countless memories for our fans, whom he adored. Generations of Chicagoans were dazzled by Bobby’s shooting prowess, skating skill and overall team leadership.”

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Left winger Hull joined the Blackhawks in the 1957-58 season and scored 30-plus goals twice before his historic 50-goal season in 1961-62, the year after he won the Cup with the club. He would break his own NHL record for goals in a season with 54 in 1965-66 and got 52 the following year and a NHL-career-best 58 in 1968-69. He also scored 50 in 1971-72. Put into context, Hull had four 50-goal seasons before any other player got one.

But Hull would jump to the upstart World Hockey Association for the following season, inking a record 10-year, 2.7 million contract to play for its Winnipeg Jets. He continues to light up scoreboards for the next half-dozen seasons in Manitoba, posting an astounding 77 in 1974-75. The Jets merged into the NHL in 1979, and Hull played part of one more NHL season with the club before sending his career later that season with the Hartford Whalers.

He also was the Jets’ head coach while playing for the club in its first three NHL seasons and assistant coach in 1975-76.

He finished his NHL career with 610 goals — still the 18th-most in league history — and 303 in the WHA for a combined 913. He was named the NHL’s MVP in back-to-back seasons and won three Art Ross trophies, given to the player with the most points (combined goals and assists) in a single regular season.

Along with his storied hockey career, Hull was the father of Brett Hull, an NHL legend in his own right who had three consecutive 70-goal seasons including 86 in 1990-91, still the fifth-most in any NHL season. He finished his Hall of Fame career with 741 goals.

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