At a press conference taking place at 6:16 pm local time, the St. Louis Blues announced on Monday that they had welcomed back the legendary Brett Hull. Fifteen years after leaving the team as an unrestricted free agent, No. 16 rejoins the organization as their executive vice president.
“We are pleased to announce that Brett Hull is coming home to the St. Louis Blues,” proclaimed Blues owner/chairman Tom Stillman to the five hundred-or-so fans gathered inside the Scottrade Center atrium for the announcement. “Brett Hull belongs with the Blues. It makes all the sense in the world for him to be here. We’ve thought that from Day One, but we wanted it to work in the right way where it’s good for Brett and good for the organization. We think it’s a great thing for all concerned.”
In his eleven seasons with St. Louis, Hull certainly left his mark on the team’s record books. The Golden Brett still holds several all-time Blues records including goals (527), powerplay goals (195), and game-winning goals (70). He also ranks second on the organization’s all-time list with 409 assists, 936 points, and eighteen shorthanded goals.
From 1988-98, Hull’s grinning face was as recognizable a symbol of the St. Louis Blues as their iconic “bluenote” logo. During that time, the Hall of Fame sniper added to his résumé with 67 playoff goals, 117 playoff points, and 27 hat tricks, all of which are also franchise records. Hull had his No. 16 jersey retired by the team in 2006.
“When Brett Hull is in town, there is a buzz,” said Stillman. “People are excited. There is something special about his effect on St. Louis.”
Hull’s tenure in a Blues uniform ended rather unceremoniously following the 1998 season, when the team opted not to resign him. Still, Hull insists that St. Louis was always a place where he wanted to be.
“I never wanted to leave… and I’m glad I’m back, I can tell you that,” Hull stated on Monday. “It’s been fifteen years and a lot of the relationships I had have really never left.”
In fact, when Hull departed and signed with the Dallas Stars prior to the 1998-99 season, it was current Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock who guided Dallas to the Stanley Cup. The Cup-clinching goal that season was notched by none other than Hull, beating Dominik Hasek and the Buffalo Sabres in triple-overtime in Game 6.
The NHL’s third all-time leading goal scorer (whose 741 career goals place him ahead of even his father, “the Golden Jet” Bobby Hull) added another Stanley Cup in 2002 with the Detroit Red Wings. His only goal now is to bring the Stanley Cup to St. Louis.
Is Brett Hull a good addition to the St. Louis Blues organization? How far away is this team from winning the Stanley Cup? Leave a comment or tweet me @BostonNumber9 or my team @TMMotS and @FanSidedNHL.