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Hull’s not-so secret admirer
MONTREAL | January 18th, 2010
Hull’s not-so secret admirer
Known as one of the most prolific scorers the game has ever seen, Bobby Hull amassed eye-popping goal totals which still pale in comparison to the countless autographs he’s signed over the years.

Never allowing a young fan to go home empty-handed, the “Golden Jet” became notorious among teammates for keeping the Chicago bus waiting while he ensured everyone went home happy with something inked by his hand. His fellow Blackhawks could only shake their heads in disbelief at some of the lengths that Hull’s admirers would go to just to meet him.

“I’ve always believed it’s important to take the time to give these kids the opportunity to meet their heroes, just like I did as a child when I got an autograph from Gordie Howe,” said Hull, who often kept the bus waiting over an hour as he signed away.

In the late 1960s, on a road trip to Montreal, Hull was his usual generous self, causing another delayed departure from the Forum as fans gathered by the boards after a game to meet him. He then quickly showered before boarding the bus along with his impatient teammates. 

“I took my usual seat at the back of the bus and I heard some kind of commotion going on just outside,” recalled Hull. “All I heard was the coach Billy Reay yelling, ‘C’mon, get out of here, kid!’. The next thing I know, this young kid charges onto the bus and walks right up to me. Before he was thrown off, I asked him what his name was and he blurts out, ‘My name is Rejean Houle, and I’m going to play against you one day.’”

The future Habs forward was true to his word, and still doesn’t regret his bold move.

“After watching the game that night, some friends of mine brought me to where the opposing team’s bus was parked,” recalled Houle, who still takes a ribbing from Hull whenever the pair gets together. “When I saw the door to the bus was wide open and there were no security guards there to stop me, I just decided to introduce myself to my favorite Blackhawks player and hopefully future opponent.”

Not only did they end up facing each other on the ice, but they did so on hockey’s grandest stage: Houle and the Canadiens beat Hull and the Blackhawks in the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals.

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