Canadian History for Kids!
Sketches of Canada for March 12th!
March 12, 1966 – Bobby Hull becomes the first NHL player to score more than 50 goals in a season.
This Canadian History for Kids exclusive, looks the career of the Golden Jet.
Known as “The Golden Jet” for his blonde hair and speedy skating, Bobby Hull was the highest scoring left wing in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL).
A member of the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL, and later the Winnipeg Jets of the upstart World Hockey Association (WHA), Hull demonstrated power, drive, and speed in his 23 years as a professional hockey player.
On March 12, 1966, Blackhawks star Bobby Hull rocketed a 40-foot slapshot past Rangers goalie Cesare Maniago to tie the score at 2. That blast made Hull the first player in NHL history to score more than 50 goals in one season. His 51st on net moved him past Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion. Hull finished the season with 54 goals.
Robert Marvin Hull was born on January 3, 1939, in Pointe Anne, Ontario, a very small town in eastern Ontario, of about 500 people. He was the eldest son in a family of 11 children.
Canadian History for Kids has learned that in 1957, at the age of 18, Hull finally began his NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks. He started slowly, however. In his first two seasons, though he appeared in 70 games each season, he only scored a total of 31 goals. However, Hull did manage to score 34 assists in the 1957-58 season, and 32 in 1958-59. His goal total increased dramatically to 39 in the 1959-60 season, when Hull mastered the slapshot by increasing the curve on his stick. He was responsible for making the slapshot popular in the NHL. His slapshot was timed at 118.3 miles per hour.
Hull finished second in the Calder Trophy voting for the NHL’s top rookie in 1957-58 and quickly helped return a struggling Chicago franchise to prominence. He topped the NHL with 39 goals and 81 assists in 1959-60, and the following season led the Black
Hawks to the Stanley Cup championship. Renowned as part of Chicago’s “Million Dollar Line” with Murray Balfour and Bill Hay.
He also won back-to-back Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player in 1966 and ’67, and was named a first-team NHL All-Star 10 times. However, he was unable to reclaim the ultimate prize, with the Black Hawks losing three Stanley Cup finals in that span.
After years of feuding with Chicago management, Hull signed a $1 million contract to be player-coach with the Winnipeg Jets in the World Hockey Association in 1972. His signing gave instant integrity to the WHA, and Hull lived up to his end of the bargain by leading the Jets to three Avco Cup championships and claiming two MVP awards.
Hull returned to the NHL in 1979, splitting the year between Winnipeg and the Hartford Whalers before announcing his retirement. He finished his career with NHL totals of 610 goals and 1,170 points, and another 303 goals and 638 points in the WHA.
And that’s this week’s Canadian History for Kids, exclusive!