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In his prime, few could dispute Bobby Hull's athletic brilliance—the first to have five 50-goal seasons, the highest scorer on the 1976 Canada Cup team, the first to use the slapshot as a scoring weapon, and the first hockey player to sign a million-dollar contract. With his body-builder torso, and his 100 mph volleys across a rink, the world of hockey glory was his to lose. And he did. ...
In his prime, few could dispute Bobby Hull's athletic brilliance—the first to have five 50-goal seasons, the highest scorer on the 1976 Canada Cup team, the first to use the slapshot as a scoring weapon, and the first hockey player to sign a million-dollar contract. With his body-builder torso, and his 100 mph volleys across a rink, the world of hockey glory was his to lose. And he did. With his publicized marital troubles and his defection from the NHL to the WHA, Hull's star began to fall, leaving him broke and in exile from the game. In The Devil and Bobby Hull, this once great hockey player and pioneer is finally given his due.
Not only are Hull's remarkable on-ice achievements finally put in perspective, so, too, are his achievements off the rink—including endorsements for a wide array of products (rare for an NHL player) and his appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record four times. And the book details how Hull's battle with the owners of the Chicago Blackhawks—challenging the reserve clause in his contract, a move that enabled him to move to the WHA—helped other players follow him.
A candid look at one of hockey's most gifted and controversial figures, The Devil and Bobby Hull tells the story of his extraordinary career and life—and why this remarkable man has not faded into oblivion.
1. Pitchfork 1
2. Crawling Through a Knot-Hole 16
3. All That Money Can Buy 51
4. Invitation Rescinded 90
5. Prior Total Dominance 105
6. Exile on Portage and Main Street 120
7. Not Disgraced 137
8. "Kid, you go over to the other side" 148
9. A True Gentleman at the Rink 171
10. Hull vs. Hull 179
11. Staggered 226
12. How Can We Repay Bobby Hull? 245
Epilogue: High, Hard and Often 261
Posted December 7, 2011
This book unfairly punishes Bobby for the break-up of his marriage and for all of the problems that he had with the Blackhawks' management. Every pro-hockey player should thank Bobby Hull for all of his efforts in promoting the WHA and enabling NHL hockey players to make salaries comparable to pro athletes in other sports.
I knew Bobby Hull briefly during my college hockey days when Bobby was again living in the Chicago area. All I can say is that Bobby was always a real gentleman with my teammates and I and a great ambassador for the game (I believe whatever transpired in his personal life is not our business).
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