Wings forward worries about adding to total

Updated: December 8, 2003, 12:29 AM ET

TORONTO -- Brett Hull scored his 731st NHL goal Saturday night to move into a tie with Marcel Dionne for third place on the career list.

But the Detroit Red Wings forward is worried that an unsettled labor situation will prevent him from moving up any higher. The NHL's collective bargaining agreement with its players expires before next season, and fear of a lockout is already looming.

"It's in the back of your mind, but with the labor issues that we have, you try not to think about it too much," Hull said. "At my age, if there is an extended period of time that we're locked out, I don't think I'd be able to come back."

Hull caught Dionne when he skated with the puck across the front of the Toronto crease, waited until goalie Ed Belfour went down and lifted in a backhander off Belfour's helmet for his 15th goal of the season. That gave Detroit a 1-0 lead, but the Red Wings went on to lose 5-2 to the Maple Leafs.

After Hull returned to the Detroit bench, he asked for the puck. Dionne has been in third place since retiring in 1989. Wayne Gretzky is first with 894 goals, followed by Gordie Howe, who scored 801.

"I'm flattered and honored to be a part of that group," Hull said.

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