Hall of Famer
Inducted in 1988
Second player ever to score 50 goals in a season
Set new NHL record with 54 goals
Set new NHL record with 58 goals
Signed in WHA for $1 million
As strong as a bull with a shot that was both rocket-quick and unpredictable, Bobby Hull earned his nickname the "Golden Jet" for his patented rushes down the left wide which ended with a terrific slapshot and, frequently, raised arms celebrating a goal. The rookie scored a mere 13 goals in 1957-58 with Chicago, and 18 the year after. But in his third season he scored 39 times to lead the league, and still that was only shades of things to come. Although he had 31 goals the year after, the Hawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1938, and in '61-'62, Hull scored 50 goals, an achievement matched only by Maurice Richard during the war in 1944-45. Hull achieved his greatest breakthrough in the two years of 1965-67 when he had seasons of 54 and 52 goals. The first set a single season record, and the second was the first time back-to-back 50-goal seasons had been recorded. These numbers made Hull the most prolific goal scorer of his generation, but in '68-'69 he scored 58 times to set another record, and his 107 total points was also the best season ever by an NHL player. After 15 seasons with Chicago, Hull changed the course of the game in the early months of 1972. While still playing in Chicago, he announced his intention to sign with the upstart World Hockey Association that fall, a league which was going to pay him $1 million for the year. Hull's signing triggered a mass exodus to the new league as players sought greater pay for doing the same thing—playing hockey. The signing also caused huge fallout in the NHL when the Summit Series was played. Hull was barred from representing Canada because he was no longer in the NHL, and even a petition from Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau could not sway the team from including Hull on the roster. In the new league, Hull played in Winnipeg on the first international line in hockey history, playing alongside two talented Swedes, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg. They set numerous scoring records in that league, and they all made their way to the NHL in 1979 when the WHA and NHL merged. Hull, at the end of his career, played only a few games before retiring, but not before having established his place in history. He scored 610 regular season goals in the NHL, a record for left wingers that lasted some 20 years.