Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dennis Hull:The 4th Best Hull?

The Blackhawks beat the Vancouver Canucks last night and will be playing in the conference finals. Their opponent will either be the Detroit Red Wings (who lead the series) or the Anaheim Ducks (who are no longer 'Mighty').
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Dennis Hull, who was a star with the Blackhawks and finished his career with the Red Wings. Hull, the underappreciated brother of Bobby, played in 5 NHL All-Star games and carved his own legacy in the NHL.
When I met him, I mentioned his book, The Third Best Hull. Hull's book is based on his joke that he was not as good as brother Bobby or Bobby's son Brett and that he would be the fourth best Hull, if they let his sister Maxine play! Hull joked that I must be the person who bought the book (note all singular there). Actually, it was quite a good book.
The most interesting story was about how Hull stayed on the roster in his rookie year. Hull was sitting on the bench during a game, when Bobby came over and told him to jump on the ice to take his place. Back then, there was some rule that once you actually appeared in a game, you had to stay on the active list for a certain number of games. The Hull's had basically forced the Hawks into keeping Dennis for a while.
Dennis would go on to have a very good career. Some people say his shot was even harder than Bobby's legendary shot. Hull was part of the successful MPH line (with the late Pit Martin
and Jim Pappin).
It was great meeting this Hawks legend. Hull's warmness and humor really come through as he speaks to everyone. He's not a Hall of Fame player, but he is a Hall of Fame person!

Dennis Hull and me in Willowbrook, IL-March 2009.


Steve said...

those certainly were the glory years for the Blackhawks. our family had tickets behind Tony Esposito (home goal) from 68 - 72. Long ago I had a hockey stick with all their autographs (another tragic mom threw away because she was mad at us boys story). Dennis was indeed a very solid player during a very exciting time for hockey in Chicago.

Johngy said...

As I have mentioned here before, I will always have a soft spot for Blackhawks of this era. Maki, Pappin, Martin, Stapleton, White, Rota, Russell, Boldirev, Koroll, Marks, Bordeleau...Love them all!

Ed said...

I've Dennis Hull in interviews and he is absolutely the funniest guy to ever lace up the skates. He must have been terrific in the locker room. Hockey needs some colorful players instead of these guys who all went to the same public speaking seminar.

Ed said...

Dennis Hull is probably the funniest guy to ever wear skates. He must have been great in the locker room. Too bad most of today's players are so poker faced or we can't understand jokes in Russian.

Johngy said...

I agree completely. Thanks for stopping by.