Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hull Hangs 'Em Up

In an emotional press conference yesterday afternoon, Brett Hull announced his retirement from a plentiful 20-season NHL career. Known for his goal-scoring ability, Hull finished with 741 career goals (third on the NHL all-time career list after Gretzky and Howe), including 265 on the powerplay (second on the NHL all-time career list). 110 of his goals were game-winners (third on the NHL all-time career list).

Hull was a three-time 70-goal scorer (1989/1990, 1990/1991, 1991/1992). In 1990/1991 and 1991/1992, Hull scored 50 goals in the first 50 games of the season, making him the only player other than Wayne Gretzky to accomplish that feat twice. He also set an NHL record in 1990/1991 for most goals by a right-winger by scoring 86 goals. Hull was a two-time Stanley Cup champion, a World Cup gold medallist, a nine-time NHL all-star and was the Hart Trophy winner in 1991 as the league's MVP.

As much as he has accomplished during his career, the grinds of 20 NHL seasons finally took their toll on Hull's 41-year old body.
There's an old expression, and I don't know who said it -- `The mind is willing but the body isn't, I wish no one had to do this because it's so hard, it's hard because you never think you're going to grow older and be unable to live up to the expectations you set for yourself.
Good on Hull to realize when he couldn't contribute as much as he wanted to or felt he should. In 5 games in the new wide-open NHL, he only managed 1 assist and a -3 rating. In his last game, he only saw 8:46 minutes of ice-time. Obviously far cries from his career average and unfortunate as he was always vocal about the declining scores in the pre-lockout NHL.

That's what infuriates me about the game: the fact that... scoring... is the one thing I love to do, and it's almost like you are not allowed to do it anymore.
And now that the league is correcting this, it's too bad Hull won't be around.
posted by J.J. Guerrero, 11:55 AM


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