The passing of Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull has brought both good and bad memories.
His grandson, Jude Hull, the son of Hall of Famer Brett Hull, resents the latter being prevalent on social media in the immediate aftermath of his grandfather’s death, which was announced on Monday. He was 84 years old.
Hull himself took to social media to comment on the situation.
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“You are entitled to have whatever opinion you want of my grandfather and his past. Posting everything less than 12 hours after his passing makes me want to vomit. Hope these tweets help you sleep better at night,” he wrote.
While Hull was ahead of his time on the ice, he didn’t have a good reputation off it.
Hull has faced allegations of domestic violence from two of his three wives with figure skater Joanne McKay, his second wife, saying he held her on a balcony in Hawaii in 1966 and threatened her with a loaded shotgun in 1978.
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Hull’s third wife, Deborah, sued him after an incident in 1984, but she later dumped them. But Hull pleaded guilty after hitting the arresting officer while those charges were pending. He had to pay a $150 fine and was under judicial supervision for six months.
That was not all. Hull received a lot of backlash after he was quoted as telling the Moscow Times that the black population was growing too fast in the United States and that “Hitler had some good ideas. He just went a bit too far”.
Hull denied making the comments, saying he would sue the Moscow Times and the Toronto Sun, which reprinted parts of the original article.
The Chicago Blackhawks, where Hull spent 15 seasons from 1957 to 1972, announced last year that they would no longer need his services as a team ambassador, although they said that this was due to the role being redefined after the deaths of Sam Mikita in 2018 and Tony Esposito in 2021.
The Blackhawks released a statement on Hull’s death, saying, “We extend our deepest condolences to the Hull family. The Hull family has requested confidentiality during this difficult time. They appreciate the sympathies sent to them.”
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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also called Hull “a true superstar with a gregarious personality.”
“When Bobby Hull took a slap shot, fans across the NHL stood in anticipation and opposing goaltenders braced,” Bettman said. “At his peak, there was no more prolific goalscorer in all of hockey.”
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Hull finished with 610 goals and 560 assists for a total of 1,170 points in a 16-year NHL career. He also played seven seasons in the WHA, also totaling 638 points.