Hull confirms he'll join Hockey Hall of Fame
DALLAS -- As a happy-go-lucky kid who messed around with hockey, Brett Hull never imagined this. Hull, the former Minnesota Duluth great who is an executive for the Dallas Stars, confirmed he will be announced Tuesday as one of four selections in...
DALLAS -- As a happy-go-lucky kid who messed around with hockey, Brett Hull never imagined this.
Hull, the former Minnesota Duluth great who is an executive for the Dallas Stars, confirmed he will be announced Tuesday as one of four selections in the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2009. The announcements are officially kept secret, but as the third-leading goal scorer of all-time, Hull is a slam dunk on his first eligible ballot.
"It's a great honor; it's really unfathomable," Hull said. "I mean, when you're a kid, you dream about someday playing in the NHL or someday winning the Stanley Cup, but you just don't think about this, so it's hard to prepare yourself."
Hull, who starred for Minnesota Duluth for two seasons (1984-86) before turning pro, scored 741 goals in the NHL to rank third all-time. With the Bulldogs, he scored 84 goals and had 60 assists for 144 points. He also had 10 hat tricks and averaged nearly a goal a game.
Hull and Steve Yzerman are expected to be announced for sure, and Brian Leetch probably will also be named in his first year of eligibility. However, other first-timers such as Luc Robitaille, Dave Andreychuk and Alexander Mogilny will be battling with players who still have not been named, including Adam Oates, Doug Gilmour, Steve Larmer, Dino Ciccarelli and Pavel Bure.
The Hall of Fame sets a maximum of four players inducted each year.
Hull will join his father Bobby, who was inducted in 1983, and become the first father-son player entries.
Hull has been honored plenty of times for his career, which includes 741 regular-season goals. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008 and has had his No. 29 jersey retired at UMD and his No. 16 jersey retired by the St. Louis Blues.
Still, standing at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Nov. 9 will be special.
"I'm really not sure how I will feel," Hull said. "I do know that when you look at the names and look at the people who are in there, including my dad, you are really impressed."
Former Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said that while people will marvel over Hull's goal scoring, which includes 86 goals during the 1990-91 season when he won the Hart Trophy (league MVP), they shouldn't forget the drive that helped him become a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams, in Dallas and Detroit.
"The thing about Hullie that I'll always remember most was his competition level," Hitchcock said. "We brought him in here and asked him to play a different kind of game than he was used to, and he did it. They did the same thing in Detroit. He did it, because he was so driven to win. He played hard, he played hurt, he really was a great competitor."
Hull said any honor will simply allow him to reflect on how he got there. He said that might be the most special thing about getting in.
"You obviously have to have a physical gift or two, and I was lucky enough to get that," he said. "But you also have to have the support of your family and friends and coaches, and people who help you get to where you are. That's probably what means the most to me, the chance to look back on that."