The name of Bobby Hull speaks to a level of hockey that few can get to. “The Golden Jet” got his nickname for his flowing blond hair as he rushed up the ice with the puck ready to be fired at the opposition’s goaltender. His shot was something to fear—especially if you did happen to be in the one who was supposed to stop it from entering the net. The name of Hull speaks to a hockey legacy as well—Hull’s brother Dennis “The Silver Jet’ and Hull’s son Brett “The Golden Brett” both had stellar careers in the NHL as well.
Hull understood that hockey was more than a game, and it was more than scoring goals—though he definitely knew how to do that and knew that was important. “Fans who pay good money to watch us play hockey deserve to be royally entertained. This is show business, and we’re here to put on a show.”
As the Chicago Black Hawks (as they were known at the time), were in New York taking on the Rangers on February 21, 1970, Bobby Hull was just two goals away from his 500th, and was playing in his 13th season with Chicago.
The New York Rangers got on the board first during the game at 13:18 of the first period and went into the first intermission with that lead. They would double that 1:06 into the second period. The Hawks though weren’t going to go away. Chicago got their first of the night, a goal credited to Bobby Hull when it caromed off his skate at 9:26. Less than two minutes later brother Dennis Hull got the game-tying goal. With 3:09 remaining in the second period Bobby would get his second of the game, and his milestone 500th. And Pit Martin would give Chicago their fourth.
As The Gazette shared two days later, “Chicago’s Bobby Hull slammed in two goals Saturday night to become only the third player in the history of the National Hockey League to score 500 in regular-season play.”
On February 22nd, Hull notched his 501st which prompted the press to ask him about reaching his second 500.
“’Wouldn’t that be something,’ said an awed Bobby Hull yesterday in response to the question, ‘When do you think you’ll score your second 500th goal?’
“’Let’s see,’ kidded Hull, ‘If I score 50 a season for the next ten years, that would do it. No, I think I’ll space it out in 13 seasons. It’ll be easier that way.’
“’No,’ said Hull ‘I never set my sights on any records. You never know. This is a rugged game and any games could be your last. I just want to stay healthy and play as long as I can.’
“’Sure, No. 500 was a great thrill especially with the ovation fans game me,’ said Hull.”
In fact, when Hull got number 500, which was the game-winning goal against the New York Rangers, the crowd gave him a two-minute ovation.
After the 1971-72 season, Hull would spend the next seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA, and then returned to the NHL as the Jets were absorbed into the National Hockey League in 1979-80. His final season was in 1979-80 with the Hartford Whalers, another of the NHL-absorbed teams.
Upon his retirement Hull had played 1063 NHL games with 610 goals, 560 assists for 1170 points. During his years with the WHA he played 411 games, notched 303 goals, had 335 assists for 638 points. So, if you combined his goals from the two leagues, he had 913 coming very close to reaching that second 500 goals, though because it wasn’t all in the NHL it wouldn’t have counted. However, it speaks loudly to his skills.
- 100 Greatest Players – Bobby Hull
- “Hull Off to Fast Start in Quest of Second 500,” The Tampa Times, February 23, 1970, p. 4-C
- “Bobby Hull Joins Exclusive Points Club,” The Gazette (Montreal), February 23, 1970, p. 18