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The Hull Family

February 25, 2008
by findingDulcinea Staff
Our review of sports family dynasties began with the Football Mannings and continues today with the Hockey Hulls.  Bobby and Dennis Hull grew up brothers in a household of 11 children in the small community of Point Anne, Ontario, where they chopped wood on the  family farm. This physical work created powerful, athletic frames and frighteningly fast slap shots.  These qualities were passed down to Bobby’s son, Brett Hull, and these three Hockey Hulls combined for more than 1,600 career goals.

Bobby Hull

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Bobby Hull is a hockey legend. At 5-foot-10 and 193 pounds, he was known for his strength, power-infused slap shots, speed and penchant for scoring. Called the “Golden Jet,” Bobby’s slap shot exceeded 110 mph. Hull joined Murray Balfour and Bill Hay to create the Blackhawks’ famed “Million Dollar Line.”  Before Bobby came along; Chicago had finished last in the NHL four times in a row. In Hull’s second year, the Blackhawks made it to the playoffs, and in his fourth season in 1961, the team won the Stanley Cup.
Essential Facts on Bobby
  • He was born on Jan. 3, 1939 in Pointe Anne, Ontario.
  • Before Bobby, players had only scored over 50 goals in a season twice. Hull did it the next four times.
  • He was the second player to score 100 points in one season
  • Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, Bobby boasted a career 610 goals and 1,170 points in 1,063 games.

Dennis Hull

Unfortunately for Dennis, he was the brother of Bobby Hull. Dennis has always entertained audiences with his self-effacing comedy, but Dennis was a very good player in his own right. Indeed, many argued that Dennis hit the harder slap shot. Dennis said: “Someone once said that Bobby could hit a puck through a car wash and not get it wet and that I could hit it just as hard, but not hit the car wash. That was the difference.” Dennis also spent most of his career on the Blackhawks. He never won a Stanley Cup despite his particularly noteworthy playoff play. Dennis blamed the Blackhawks’ inability to win more consistently on the fact that the team lost great players such as Bobby to better contracts elsewhere.
Essential Facts on Dennis
  • Playing in Junior A hockey, Dennis scored 48 goals at age 19. In Junior A, brother Bobby couldn’t top 33, which he had at 18.
  • He played 13 seasons in Chicago, and one season (his last) for Detroit in 1977-78.
  • Dennis retired with 303 goals, 351 assists and 654 points.
  • He was selected to the All Star Team six times.
Proving that he was never jealous of Bobby and Brett, Dennis wrote a book called Third Best Hull: I Should Have Been Fourth but They Wouldn't Let My Sister Maxine Play. Dennis takes a more humorous approach to his life and hockey career in this book.

Brett Hull

Brett stoked the flames of his father’s legacy. Brett scored his 600th goal in the 1999-2000 season, setting him and his father apart as the only father-son duo to each score 1,000 points. After starting his career with the Calgary Flames, Brett was traded to St. Louis in 1988 and promptly scored 41 goals in his first season there. For the next three consecutive years, Hull scored over 70 goals per season, with a career-high 86 goals in 1990-91, earning him the league’s Most Valuable Player award. He played for the United States in the 1998 & 2002 Winter Olympics, the 1996 World Cup, 1991 Canada Cup, and the 1986 World Championships.  He declared his retirement on October 15, 2005.  When the St. Louis Blues retired his jersey, it made Bobby and Brett Hull the only father-son pair to have their jerseys retired by a major sports franchise.
Essential Facts on Brett
  • On the Blues, Brett scored 50 goals in 49 games, making him just the fifth player to score 50 goals in 50 games or less. Wayne Gretzky, Maurice Richard, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux were the others.
  • He moved to the Dallas Stars in 1998, following 11 seasons in St. Louis.
  • Brett led the Stars to a Stanley Cup in 1999.
  • Brett won his second Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002.
  • Brett’s careers totals included 741 goals, 650 assists and 1,391 points.  He is the third leading goal scorer of all-time, behind Wayne Gretsky and Gordie Howe.  
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