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CANADA: Bobby Hull, first NHLer to score more than 50 goals, dead at 84

NHL Alumni Association announced his death this morning
In this April 16, 1961, file photo, Chicago Blackhawks hockey player Bobby Hull smiles in the dressing room beside the Stanley Cup after Chicago defeated the Detroit Red Wings, 5-1, to win the NHL Championship, in Detroit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP

Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull has died at the age of 84.

He played for the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks and Hartford Whalers as well as the World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets over a 23-year pro career.

The NHL Alumni Association announced his death this morning.

In 1961, he helped lead the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup in 23 years.

Hull was the first player in the NHL history to score more than 50 goals in a single season. He set the record of 54 in 1966 and broke it by four goals a couple of seasons later.

Along with Chicago teammate Stan Mikita he helped popularize the curved hockey stick blade in the NHL.

His subsequent defection to the Winnipeg Jets of the WHA in 1972 was the catalyst that helped shatter the NHL's stranglehold on players. It also started the escalation of salaries that now make Hull's once record-setting million-dollar payday look like small change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.

The Canadian Press