Friday, July 19, 2024

Blackhawks split from Bobby Hal

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Virginia Whitehead
Virginia Whitehead
"Pop culture maven. Unapologetic student. Avid introvert. Gamer. Problem solver. Tv fanatic."

The Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday that Bobby Hull is no longer an ambassador for the organization.

The 83-year-old had held the position since 2008. At the time, the Illinois club appointed former left winger Stan Mikita Severin.

In a statement, the Black Hawks said they want to redefine the ambassador role with the deaths of Mikita (2018) and former goalkeeper Tony Esposito (2021).

The club also said in its letter: “With regard to Bobby specifically, we both agreed earlier this season that he will step down from any official role with the team.”

Hull played 1063 games in the National Hockey League (NHL), including 1036 games in the Black Hawk’s uniform. He had 610 goals and 560 assists for 1170 points in the best hockey league in the world. In 1972, the Ontario native left the NHL to join the World Hockey League, either with the Winnipeg Jets. In seven seasons and 411 games in this league, he scored 303 goals and 335 assists, for 638 points.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983, Hull was retired by the Blackhawks that same year.

Too many scandals?

The Hawks’ family has remained unclear about the decision, but it is reasonable to question whether the team simply wanted to break up with the man who has been at the center of so many scandals.

In 1986, Hull was convicted of assaulting a police officer, after the latter got into an argument with his first wife. He was also charged with assault and battery against the woman, but the charges were dropped after she refused to testify against her husband.

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Hal’s second wife accused him of abuse in a 2002 interview with ESPN.

Hull was also implicated in another case in 1998, when a Russian daily claimed she had said that Adolf Hitler had “some good ideas”. The former hockey player had vehemently denied this.

The Blackhawks have been in an image polishing mode recently, after they came under fire for failing to report a sexual assault by one of their coaches to the authorities during the club’s winning streak in 2010.

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