Dennis Hull #3

Another part of an interview with Dennis Hull, brother of legendary Chicago Blackhawks player Bobby Hull, and a renowned player in his own right. With anecdotes and stories from his time in the NHL, Hull talks about the conduct of modern hockey players, his family, and answers the controversial question, "Which of the Hulls has a harder slap shot?"

00:00Copy video clip URL Color bars.

00:28Copy video clip URL Dennis Hull continues his thoughts on the people of Chicago and the Midwest in general. He says that the people in the Midwest are the friendliest that he’s ever been associated with. Hull goes on to compare hockey fans in the Midwest to hockey fans in Canada. While fans in the Midwest are always happy for a player when he succeeds, he says, those in Canadian cities are occasionally embittered with jealousy, as many of them are ex-hockey players themselves. “If I go in a bar and there’s some people I know there, and I buy them a drink, for instance, I’ll hear the next day that ‘big shot Dennis Hull was here and bought everyone a drink.’ But if I go in the next time and don’t buy them a drink, I’ll hear the next day, ‘that cheap so-and-so wouldn’t buy us a drink.'”

02:00Copy video clip URL Hull talks about his two children, his daughter, who is a sophomore at Boston College, and his son, who is a Junior at Hinsdale Central High School. He then states that both he and his daughter are Canadian citizens, but permanent residents of the United States, while his son is a full-fledged American citizen.

02:53Copy video clip URL When asked who had the hardest slap shot between he and his brother Bobby Hull, Dennis Hull states that both his and his brother’s were more or less equally powerful on radar. This leads into an anecdote about a time when he and Bobby performed slap shots for a group of blind children, and they all decided that Dennis’s shot was the hardest. “If not the hardest, at least the loudest!”

04:02Copy video clip URL Concerning violence in hockey, Dennis Hull states that he believes that it is “one area that hockey is behind in other sports.”  He says that he does not believe it is necessary to the game, and cites international hockey games, where fighting is not allowed, as a testament against violence in the NHL. He attributes the rise of fighting in hockey to expansion, when certain teams were over-matched against teams that had been playing for years, and began to fight the best players on the other team in an effort to level the playing field. He proceeds to tell about the Philadelphia Flyers, a team notorious for brawling on the ice, and says that he believes that the younger players tried to emulate their style of play after winning a few Stanley Cups.

05:27Copy video clip URL Personally, Hull says that he did not fight much while paying against rival teams like the Montreal Canadiens, where it was said that there were players trying to muscle him off the ice. The Canadiens, he says, were a group of players that played “hard and clean,” unlike the Flyers, whose team was comprised of players that were “really not good enough to play in the NHL, and would be sent out onto the ice just to try and get the other team’s best player off the ice.”  When asked about John Ferguson, a player for the Canadiens who was infamous in Chicago for being a hockey “goon”, Hull states that while Ferguson was tough and rough, he was a great player, and was brought in by Montreal in an effort to combat the “goons” on Philadelphia.

06:52Copy video clip URL Hull talks about former Blackhawks defenseman Reggie Fleming, a player who was known for his aggressive and combative style of play. Hull believes that Fleming did not get the credit he deserved as a hockey player, but rather for being a “goon.”

07:21Copy video clip URL Regarding Billy Reay, coach of the Chicago Blackhawks in Hull’s time as a player, Hull says that, “If anyone has a guru or ‘their man’, as the kids say now, Billy Reay was my man.” Hull explains that Reay was the person that taught him not only about hockey, but how to be an adult as well. “Without Billy Reay, and without Jim Pappin and Pit Martin, I don’t think I ever would have played 14 years.”

09:00Copy video clip URL Hull tells a relatively well-known anecdote in the hockey world about a time after he had gotten hemorrhoid surgery, and during a quiet lull in the game, a fan from the stands yelled to him, “Hey Hull, how was the brain operation?” Following this, Hull says that he, Jimmy Pappin and Pit Martin were laughing so hard, they were unable to face off.

10:42Copy video clip URL Hull talks about the hockey players he currently enjoys watching, naming Denis Savard, Doug Wilson and Wayne Gretzky as examples. This leads into an anecdote about a time when he was sitting with Billy Wirtz, the owner of the Blackhawks, who was sitting and admiring Savard’s puck handling skills. Hull says that he said to an excited Wirtz, “He’s probably the best ‘Dennis’ you’ve had on your team.” To which Wirtz replied, “Yes he is . . . with one ‘n’!”

11:31Copy video clip URL On the now-legendary hockey player Wayne Gretzky, Hull says that he is unsure what makes him so good on the ice, but discusses hall-of-fame player Gordie Howe’s theory that he plays the game “as if he’s seeing it from the second balcony at ice level.”

12:26Copy video clip URL Though Hull states that Gretzky is an exciting player to watch play the game, he believes that he was not as exciting to watch as Bobby Hull. “You can always tell an exciting player by when some players get the puck and fans come out of their seats. But when Bobby used to get the puck and wind up, the players all stood up.” Hull goes on to say that he does not believe that Bobby Hull gets the credit he deserves as one of the all-time greats.

14:42Copy video clip URL When asked about whether he felt any envy toward Bobby Hull as a hockey player, Dennis Hull explains that jealousy was “not allowed in the Hull family; there are 11 . . . just to get part of the dinner was an accomplishment.” Hull then proceeds to tell a story about his family concerning a time when he was playing junior hockey and had gotten the wind knocked out of him by another player. His sister, who was in the stands, jumped over the boards and ran out onto the ice.

16:24Copy video clip URL Hull continues talking about his family, saying that his mother had died in January of that year. This leads him to recall a time when she’d had a family picnic at her house and every Hull returned from wherever they were to attend. “Bobby and I, playing in the NHL, we weren’t the big stars at the family picnic; my mother and father were.”  He explains how his own family differs from the one in which he grew up, having 2 children as opposed to 11.

18:10Copy video clip URL Hull tells about a time after both he and Bobby had retired and came to his parents’ house for Christmas for the first time in 20 years. After a brief reunion with their mother and sisters, Hull says that they went into the kitchen to see their father. When they greeted him, their father replied with, “I knew you guys could never make it!”

19:30Copy video clip URL Hull talks about his duties and responsibilities as the athletic director for IIT, working on recruiting, baseball, planning for the spring schedule, and the basketball and swimming teams. He goes on to explain that one of his primary jobs is to try and raise funds for the athletic department.

20:54Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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