Hull Brothers: Golden and Silver Jets

Bobby and Dennis Hull are the perfect example of great things coming from unlikely places.

Bobby and Dennis Hull are the perfect example of great things coming from unlikely places.

The Hull brothers grew up in a household of 11 children in the small farming community of Point Anne, Ont.

The two worked hard on the family farm storing hay and chopping down trees.

However, it wasn't long until the brothers traded their axes for hockey sticks and started a career in hockey.

With the powerful and athletic frames they developed on the farm, the two brothers would quickly make their presence felt in the NHL.

It was Bobby, however, that would steal the spotlight.

Bobby joined the Chicago Blackhawks in 1957 at the age of 18 and had an immediate impact with the team.

Before Bobby came along the Blackhawks had finished dead last in the NHL four years in a row.

In Hull's second year, the team made it to the playoffs, and in his fourth season in 1961, the team won the Stanley Cup.

With his blonde hair and blazing speed he quickly earned the nickname "The Golden Jet." However, it was his powerful slap shot, which exceeded 110 miles per hour, that he is most remembered for.

Goalies would tremble when Bobby skated down the left wing, wound up and unleashed his powerful blast.

His electrifying style would make him one of hockey's first international superstars and arguably the NHL's marquee star of the 1960s.

Making history

On March 12, 1966, Bobby became the first player to score more than 50 goals in a season. His 51st goal against the New York Rangers earned him a seven-minute standing ovation from the Chicago Stadium faithful.

It was during the 1965-66 season that Dennis would join his brother in the windy city.

During the 1968-69 season, the Hulls established a record for single-season goals by brothers when they scored a combined 88 goals, wreaking havoc on the frightened netminding fraternity.

The two would remain teammates on the Blackhawks for eight seasons.

Bobby was not only a star in the NHL, but he helped bring the World Hockey Association into the public eye, when he signed a $1-million contract with the Winnipeg Jets.

Bobby became hockey's first millionaire, and because of that, the WHA gained instant credibility.

Despite Bobby's popularity and success, the brother's loyalty and devotion remained strong.

During the 1972 Summit Series Bobby was excluded from the team because he played in the WHA and not the NHL.

Initially Dennis planned to boycott the event as a show of support for his brother, but Bobby persuaded him to stay on Team Canada.  Dennis would go on to be an integral part of the team's success.

When the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979, Bobby ended up with the Hartford Whalers, where he played one final season.

During his career, Bobby scored an amazing 610 regular season goals, and more than 300 with the WHA's Jets.  No wonder he is considered by many to be the best left-winger in the history of the game.

Bobby was selected into the Hall of Fame in 1983 and his No. 9 jersey was retired both by the Blackhawks and the Jets.

Little brother Dennis wasn't nearly as colourful as Bobby on the ice, but he possessed many similar skills, particularly his hard shot and good speed.

In fact, many commentators often wondered whether Bobby or Dennis had the harder shot.

Dennis, always the comedian, once said: "Bobby could hit a puck through a car wash and not get it wet, I could hit it just as hard, but not hit the car wash. That was the difference."

Playing in the shadow of his brother, Dennis accumulated an impressive 303 goals and 351 assists in 959 games in the NHL, earning the nickname "The Silver Jet".

The Hull Brothers' electrifying style of play left a lasting impression on the game of hockey. Bobby's son, Brett Hull, inherited these special talents, and also had quite an impressive career.

The three hockey Hulls combined for more than 1,600 career goals, etching their names in the annals of hockey history for many years to come.