Family reunion: Brett Hull wears father Bobby's No. 9
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brett Hull trotted out a No. 9 jersey -- a number unused by the Winnipeg-Phoenix franchise since his father left the Jets during the 1979-80 season -- and the Coyotes made Bobby Hull the first member of their Glendale Arena Ring of Honor on Saturday night.
The festivities before the game against Minnesota drew rousing cheers from a standing-room-only crowd attending the Coyotes' home debut under coach Wayne Gretzky.
Gretzky stayed behind the bench, but Coyotes president Doug Moss and general manager Mike Barnett welcomed Bobby Hull, known as "The Golden Jet," on a red carpet at center ice. Brett Hull, who wore No. 16 his first two games with the franchise, skated to the gathering, embraced his father, did a pirouette to show off No. 9 and then hugged Bobby again.
"Somewhere in my wildest childhood I must have done something right," Bobby said between periods. "Being able to make a boyhood dream come true is one thing, but to have a kid come along and thrill his dad like Brett Hull has thrilled me over his career is too much for one guy to handle."
Barnett said the team would begin its ring of honor with the elder Hull.
"Beginning tonight, the legacy of Bobby Hull will live here in Phoenix," said master of ceremonies Curt Keilback, a Coyotes' broadcaster.
The Hulls are the only father-son combination in NHL history to each have more than 600 goals.
Brett Hull, who left Detroit to sign with the Coyotes on Aug. 6, 2004, is third on the NHL's career goals list with 741 -- needing 60 to tie Gordie Howe for second behind Gretzky's 894. The 41-year-old right wing also has scored 103 playoff goals, fourth all-time.
He has 649 assists and 1,390 points in 1,264 regular-season games, and 87 assists (190 points) in 202 playoff games.
Hull, a sixth-round draft pick of Calgary in 1984 who developed into a nine-time All-Star, has played for the Flames, St. Louis, Dallas, the Red Wings and Phoenix. He won Stanley Cups with the Stars (1999) and Red Wings (2002).
Bobby Hull had 610 goals and 560 assists (1,170 points) in 1,063 games during 16 NHL seasons with Chicago, Winnipeg and Hartford. Only one of his NHL seasons was with the Jets, who used to belong to the World Hockey Association.
Bobby Hull had 303 goals and 638 points in 411 games for the Jets from 1972-1979. Winnipeg retired his number on Feb. 19, 1989, during its first NHL season. He played his last game with the Jets on Dec. 12, 1979, after logging four goals and six assists in 18 games.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press
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