Saturday, October 15, 2005

Respect due

Brett Hull has apparently decided to call it a career.

I’ve already seen some lash out at Hull for the decision, calling him a quitter. I couldn’t disagree more. Eventually, every player has to “quit”. It takes a man to admit that the game has passed him by. It’s likely a whole lot easier to continue to collect paychecks and rest on your laurels. I admire Hull for not wanting to tarnish his name and reputation with a few years of less than flattering hockey. Either way he’s a first ballot Hall Of Famer, but it’s nice to someone care about their legacy (too bad the guy who coached him this season didn’t have the same perspective.)

Some might say the timing of the announcement is unfair to the Coyotes. Is it more fair that Hull takes up a roster spot, at a pretty hefty salary (in a time when every dollar counts), if he's not performing and/or doesn't have that same passion for the game that made him so great for almost 20 years? There is no right time for something like this, I suppose, but in October, when the season is still young, seems better than in, say, January.

As for his career, the numbers speak for themselves. 741 career goals, 3rd all-time in NHL history. 103 career playoff goals, 4th all-time. Eight-time 40+ goal scorer. For a guy who wasn’t even supposed to make a career as a pro hockey player, drafted in the sixth round, those are some pretty impressive achievements. But the most extraordinary thing Hull did over his career was something most thought impossible: he stepped out of the shadow of his legendary father Bobby. Sure, to a certain generation, he’ll always be “The Golden Jet”’s boy, but most of us know him not as Brett Hull, the son of Bobby Hull, but rather, Brett Hull, one of the greatest goal scorers to ever lace up a pair of skates.

It is somewhat unfortunate that Hull is wrapping up his career at a time when the game is seemingly enjoying its scoring renaissance. For years, Hull for one of the most vocal critics of the game during the dead puck era, always talking about ways to improve it. Now that it’s happen, he’s long longer able to participate.

I think we’ll miss his biting commentary on the game as much as the infamous slapshot from the slot that became his trademark. Whenever you wanted an interesting soundbite on hockey, you went to Brett Hull. Jeremy Roenick has sort of assumed that role in recent years, but I’ve always found comes off more contrived that Brett, who just seems to be speaking from the heart, as a guy who loves the game. Let’s hope he won’t be kept quiet for too long. If OLN wants to make their hockey coverage unique, offer a spot on their panel to Hull. I can guarantee he’ll make it worthwhile.

Thanks for the memories Brett.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Listed on BlogShares