Tuesday, December 22, 2009
On this date in 1996, Brett Hull made history, becoming part of the first ever father/son pair to reach 500 goals in the NHL.
Bobby Hull began his career with the Chicago Black Hawks in 1957 and would equal the NHL record of 50 goals in 1962 held by Maurice Richard (1945) and Boom Boom Geoffrion (1961). He would break the record in 1966 when he scored 54, the highest total in the Original Six era.
Bobby would top 50 goals three more times, in 1967 with 52 goals, 1969 with 58 (a personal best and the all-time record then) and 1972 with an even 50.
He would reach 500 goals on February 21, 1970 against the New York Rangers and finish his NHL career with 610 goals, currently 15th all-time. However, Hull did spend seven seasons with the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association, where he scored an additional 303 goals, giving him 913 for his entire career.
Bobby with sons Bobby Jr. and Brett after scoring his 500th goal
Brett Hull would begin his path to 500 goals with the Calgary Flames when he scored his first NHL goal in the 1986-87 season while appearing in only 5 games. During the 1987-88 season Brett would score 26 goals in 52 games for Calgary before being traded to the St. Louis Blues, along with Steve Bozak for Rob Ramage and Rick Wamsley.
It was in St. Louis that Brett would ignite and achieve his first 40 goal season in 1988-89. A monster season in 1989-90 would see him join the elite 70 goal club with 72, joining the likes of Phil Esposito, Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Mario Lemieux and Bernie Nicholls.
Amazingly, Hull would beat that mark the very next season when he lit the lamp 86 times, the second highest single season mark ever, just six shy of Gretzky's 92.
Brett would continue his assault on the 500 mark with seasons of 70 in 1991-92, becoming only the second and final player to score 50 goals in 50 games more than once, 54 and then 57 over the next three seasons. The lockout shortened season of 1994-95 limited him to 29, but he reached 40 for the final two times of his career with 43 followed by 42 the season he reached 500, becoming just the 24th player at the time in the exclusive club and joining his father as the only father/son duo to achieve the feat together.
Hull would reach 500 in style, scoring a hat trick as part of a four point night against the Los Angeles Kings.
Hull would continue to play seven more seasons in the NHL, winning two Stanley Cups and adding another 241 goals to his tally to finish with 741, currently third all-time behind only Gretzky and Gordie Howe.
He joined his father in having his jersey number retired in 2006, the only father/son combo in any professional sport to be so honored, and then joined him in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Combined, the Hulls scored 1,351 NHL goals.
Today's featured jersey is a Starter 1996-97 St. Louis Blues Brett Hull jersey just like the one he wore when he scored goal number 500. This jersey style was worn from 1994-95 until the 1997-98 season before being replaced with the more traditional looking jersey first introduced as the Blues alternate jersey in 1997-98.
Many did not like the inclusion of what they felt was an excessive amount of red in the blues jersey, particularly the road version, along with what they felt was the excessive number of stripes, which were there to replicate the musical staff. The diagonal lines of the jersey were unconventional at the time, but even more so were the numbers, which grew in size as they moved from right to left across the back as the lines of the staff fell away, as we discussed in our Curious, Weird and Ugly Collection.
Brett Hull scores his 500th goal on this date in 1996.
Here's a look at Bobby in action from his days with Chicago. Note him coming up the steps, just before signing an autograph, at the end of the video to reach the ice level in the old Chicago Stadium.