Brett Andrew Hull (born August 9, 1964) is a former Canadian-American NHL player and the former Executive Vice President of the Dallas Stars. He is the son of Bobby Hull and nephew of Dennis Hull, both former NHL players. Hull is also known as “The Golden Brett,” which is a play off of his father’s nickname, “The Golden Jet.” He played for the Calgary Flames, St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings and Phoenix Coyotes. Hull scored 741 regular seasongoals in his career, placing him third all-time for most career goals in the NHL. He also scored a controversial Stanley Cup winning goal on Buffalo Sabresgoaltender Dominik Hašek in 1999 to give Dallas its first Cup win. Hull also won the Cup as a member of the Red Wings in 2002. The son of a Canadian father and American mother, he holds dual U.S./Canadian citizenship and represented the United States in international competition. Hull was inducted into theHockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
Unlike his four siblings (Bobby Jr., Blake, Bart and Michelle), who were all born in Chicago, Brett Hull was born in Belleville, Ontario, where the family spent summers. Brett was taught how to skate at age five by his mother, Joanne, who was a professional figure skater for Hilton Hotel shows. He started to play organized hockey at age seven in Elmhurst, Illinois for the Elmhurst Huskies with future NHL forward Tony Granato and Tommy Stapleton, son of Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Pat Stapleton. The Hull family moved to Winnipeg in 1972 as his father signed a $1,000,000 contract to play for the WHA Winnipeg Jets. Meanwhile, Brett’s junior career continued with the Tuxedo Jets, and a couple of years later he joined the Canadian Professional Hockey School’s team. One very early hockey milestone for Brett was winning the prestigious Quebec Winter Carnaval Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament in 1977 with the Winnipeg South Monarchs. Even at this very early stage of his career, Brett could rifle a slapshot that sparked fear in young goaltenders, and he was later known for that. One honorary attendee at the championship game, Jean Béliveau (a 10 time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens) visited the Winnipeg dressing room just to meet ‘the young Hull’.
When Bobby and Joanne Hull separated in 1979, Brett, his brother Bart, and his sister Michelle moved to Vancouver with their mother. Brett played bantam and then midget hockey at the North Shore Winter Club, as well as competing in baseball and gridiron football. Hull played in the Junior A British Columbia Junior Hockey League (BCJHL) for the Penticton Knights, where he has a few records that still stand today.
In the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, the Calgary Flames selected Hull in the sixth round with the 117th overall pick. Hull then played two years of U.S. college hockey for the University of Minnesota Duluth. He made his international debut for Team USA at the 1986 Ice Hockey World Championships in Moscow where he was his team’s leading scorer. Being born in Canada, he would also have been eligible to play for Team Canada; however, at the time, the Team Canada management did not show an interest in him, as Hull was still a collegiate player. After the 1986 Championships, Hull turned pro, playing his first NHL game in the 1986 Stanley Cup Finals for the Calgary Flames. He spent most of the 1986–87 season with the minor league Moncton Golden Flames, being named to the AHL‘s First All-Star Team and receiving the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award as the league’s top rookie, before being recalled to the NHL for good in the 1987–88 NHL season. However, he never developed a good relationship with Flames coach Terry Crisp, and on March 7, 1988, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis Blues
While in St. Louis, Hull developed into a prolific goal scorer and was amongst the best players in the NHL. Hull and linemate Adam Oates were dubbed “Hull and Oates” (a pun on the well-known musical duo of Hall & Oates). In Hull’s best season, 1990–91, he scored 86 goals, which is the third highest mark ever recorded in one season. It was also a new record for right wingers in goals. That year, he was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. He also represented the United States at the 1991 Canada Cup where he again emerged as the team’s leading scorer with nine points in eight games, as the Americans lost to Team Canada in the finals. Hull and Team USA got their revenge five years later in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey where he scored the decisive goal in the final game against the Canadians. He was elected to the tournament All-Star team.
Though Hull’s play declined during the remainder of his term with the Blues, he continued to be a perennial all-star and averaged more than one point per game in each of his seasons in St. Louis. Two of his three career four-goal games came with the Blues; first on April 16, 1995 against Detroit, and again on October 10, 1995, during the 1995–96 home opener against Edmonton, both of which were wins. He also went on to score his 500th goal in a December 22, 1996 win over the Los Angeles Kings, in which his milestone goal also capped a hat trick. A statue of him was unveiled outside of Scottrade Center in October 2010.
Hull played 11 seasons for the Blues before signing with the Dallas Stars as a free agent before the 1998–99 NHL season. During his initial season, his traditional jersey number, 16, was being worn by Stars forward Pat Verbeek, so Hull wore number 22 for that season. He switched back to 16 in the 1999 offseason after Verbeek left the team. Hull scored his milestone 600th goal (and later his 601st goal) during a 5–4 victory over Anaheim on New Year’s Eve 1999. He helped the Stars capture the Stanley Cup earlier that year, scoring a controversial Cup-winning goal off his own rebound in the third overtime period of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hašek. Video replay showed that Hull’s skate was in the crease, which the Sabres argued was a violation of a rule then in effect that disallowed goals if an offensive player was in the goal crease. However, the rule stated that a player can enter the crease, as long as he has control of the puck. The legality of the goal is still debated; it is arguably the most disputed Cup-winning goal in NHL history. The crease interference rule, which was introduced in 1997 amid widespread criticism, was eliminated the following season. Coincidentally, Hull and Hašek later won the Stanley Cup as teammates in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings. Hull and Hašek were even roommates when traveling for Red Wings road games. Both have repeatedly denied ever discussing the controversial goal.
In the 1999–2000 season, Hull’s regular season effectiveness was limited by injuries, though he still put up respectable numbers. In the postseason, he shined, edging out teammate Mike Modano to lead in playoff scoring as they made the finals again. Memorable was Hull’s two goals, both assisted by Modano, as the Stars took Game Two 2–1 from the New Jersey Devils. In Game Five, during the third overtime period, Modano deflected Hull’s shot which beat Martin Brodeur to clinch the game for Dallas. Hull and the Stars would not duplicate the success of 1999 though, as the Devils would win Game Six and the Cup in 2000 on a goal in the second overtime period by Jason Arnott.
In 2000–01 season, Hull helped his team win their fifth consecutive Pacific Division title with 39 goals. The playoffs were a disappointment; after getting through the Edmonton Oilers in six games, the Stars were swept in the second round by Hull’s former team, the St. Louis Blues.
Hull became the first player in Dallas Stars franchise history to record consecutive home hat tricks. Hull recorded his first hat trick against the Ottawa Senators on March 18, 2001 and the second three nights later against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, in which he recorded 4 goals.
Detroit Red Wings
In 2001, Hull joined the Red Wings as a free agent. Hull did not ask for jersey number 16, which the Wings had removed from circulation out of respect for Vladimir Konstantinov, whose career had ended in a limousine accident six days after the Wings’ 1997 Stanley Cup victory. For his three seasons in Detroit, Hull wore number 17, and he continued to play strongly.
Hull played a key role in the Wings’ 2002 Cup victory, scoring 10 goals en route to his second Stanley Cup. Hull was a part of the “Two Kids and a Goat” line, a joking reference to Hull’s age compared to that of his much younger linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux.
At the 2002 Winter Olympics, Hull formed a line with Mike Modano and John LeClair, which led the tournament in scoring and earned Team USA a silver medal.
Hull’s international career ended on a down note during the 2004 World Cup of Hockey where he was benched for the rest of the tournament following two indifferent performances against Canada and Russia.
On August 6, 2004, Hull signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Phoenix Coyotes, who un-retired his father’s jersey for him. Bobby Hull‘s #9 jersey had been originally retired by the franchise on February 19, 1989, when they were still the Winnipeg Jets. The first year of the contract was nullified by the 2004–05 NHL lockout, and some argue the time off damaged Hull’s game irreparably; when hockey restarted in 2005–06, Hull played only five games and notched one last point with the Coyotes before, dissatisfied with his performance, he announced his retirement on October 15, 2005.
The University of Minnesota Duluth retired his #29 jersey on February 3, 2006, and later that same year, on December 5, 2006, the St. Louis Blues retired his #16 in an emotional ceremony that featured many Blues past and present. However, the highlight of the ceremony came when the banner was raised: while Neil Young‘s “Old Man” played on the sound system, Bobby Hull, whose presence had not been announced, walked out to center ice to embrace his son. The Blues also changed the name of the stretch of Clark Avenue, the street that Scottrade Center between 14th and 15th Streets in St. Louis, to “Brett Hull Way” and have also announced plans to number the road such that the arena will be number 16. In a recent interview during Hockey Night in Canada, Hull was quoted as saying that he would never coach hockey. He also said the best big-game goalie he ever played with was Ed Belfour, during his time in Dallas, and that the best offensive defencemen he had played with were Sergei Zubov and Nicklas Lidström. The player he said he hated to play against was Chris Chelios. The coaches he said he liked the most were Ken Hitchcock and Scotty Bowman. The person that he said he disliked the most was former Blues coach Mike Keenan, whom he often publicly criticized during Keenan’s tenure.
At the beginning of the 2006–07 season, Hull returned to the Dallas Stars in a front-office role as special assistant to team president Jim Lites, identifying himself in Dallas Stars television commercials as the team’s self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Fun”, as well as “Campaign Manager” for Stars players hoping to be voted to the 2007 All Star Game, to be held in Dallas. Before becoming co-GM of the Stars, he answered fan-submitted questions in a weekly editorial entitled “Brett’s Bites” on DallasStars.com and was a part-time television studio analyst for both NHL on NBC and the Stars’ regular broadcasts on FSN Southwest.
On November 11, 2007, Stars’ owner Tom Hicks fired Doug Armstrong as general manager and later named Hull and Les Jackson as interim co-general managers. The two served as co-general managers for the remainder of the 2007–08 as well as the 2008–09 NHL season.
On May 31, 2009, Stars’ owner Tom Hicks announced that Joe Nieuwendyk would be replacing the pair as the new general manager. Hull was reassigned as Executive Vice President and Alternate Governor, and Jackson as Director of Scouting and Player Development.
Hull was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on October 29, 2008. Hull and his father Bobby became the first ever father-son hockey duo ever to achieve this honor.
In 2010 Hull was in attendance in the University of Minnesota Duluth’s final series at DECC, as they moved into their new arena, Amsoil Arena.
Hull married fellow University of Minnesota Duluth student Alison Curran in Las Vegas on May 27, 1997, though they later divorced. They have one son together: Jude, an ice hockey goalie, and two daughters, Jayde and Crosby. Hull married longtime girlfriend Darcie Schollmeyer on July 21, 2006 in Cabo San Lucas.
At the end of 2008, along with former teammate, Mike Modano, and restaurateur, Eddie Cervantes, Hull opened the sports-themed Hully & Mo Restaurant & Tap Room in Dallas, Texas. The restaurant offers American cuisine and features Texas Hill Country limestone in the design and has an open theater kitchen.
Hull was also the co-best man at Mike Modano’s wedding, where Modano married pop star Willa Ford.
The St. Louis Blues unveiled a statue of Brett Hull before the opening game of the 2010/2011 season on October 9, 2010. The statue sits in front of Scottrade Center, right next to 2 other St. Louis Blues greats, Al MacInnis and Bernie Federko.
Hull is a regular competitor at the American Century Championship, the annual competition to determine the best golfers among American sports and entertainment celebrities. The tournament, televised by NBC in July, is played at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, NV.
Career achievements and facts
- Finished his career with 741 goals (3rd all-time), 650 assists (57th all-time), 1391 points (21st all-time) and 1269 games (61st all-time).
- Named an NHL First Team All-Star in 1990, 1991 and 1992.
- Won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1990.
- Won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1991.
- Won the Lester B. Pearson Award in 1991.
- Played in the NHL All-Star Game in 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997 and 2001.
- Scored 50 goals in 50 games twice in his career; only Wayne Gretzky, with three 50–50 seasons, has done it more often, and he and Gretzky are the only ones to do it more than once.
- Won the Dudley “Red” Garrett Memorial Award in 1987.
- 4th quickest to reach 500 goals based on number of games played.
- Recorded 33 career Hat Tricks (4th all-time).
- Led the NHL in goals scored in 1989–90, 1990–91, and 1991–92.
- All-time career leader in Playoff Power Play Goals with 38.
- Tied for 1st with Wayne Gretzky on the all-time Playoff Game Winning Goals list with 24.
- Holds the St. Louis Blues franchise record for goals scored with 527.
- Is the only hockey player ever to score 50 goals in a season in the NCAA, the minor leagues, and the NHL. In 1985–86 he scored 52 goals for the U. of Minnesota-Duluth; in 1986–87 he scored 50 goals for the Moncton Golden Flames of the AHL, and from 1989–1994 recorded 5 straight 50+ goal seasons (72,86,70,54,57) for the St. Louis Blues.
- In 1998, before reaching several career milestones, he was ranked number 64 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players.
- Won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1998–99 and the Detroit Red Wings in 2001–02.
- On December 5, 2006, his #16 sweater was retired by the St. Louis Blues and raised to the rafters of the Scottrade Center. Along with his father, Bobby, they are the only father-son combo in any professional sport to have their respective numbers retired.
- Scored 70+ goals in three seasons; only Wayne Gretzky, with four 70+ goal seasons, has done it more often. In addition, both players achieved this in consecutive seasons.
- Scored 86 goals in the 1990–1991 NHL season; only Wayne Gretzky has scored more goals in a single season.
- Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame – 2009