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The Golden Jet is earning his gold
Mark Mulvoy
November 27, 1972
Freed by the courts, Bobby Hull, the WHA's $3 million keystone, is drawing crowds on and off ice
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November 27, 1972

The Golden Jet Is Earning His Gold

Freed by the courts, Bobby Hull, the WHA's $3 million keystone, is drawing crowds on and off ice

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When he left the NHL Hull figured he had seen the last of the Eddie West-falls and Val Fonteynes and the Bryan Watsons who had made careers of trailing him all over the ice and harassing him at every turn. "The WHA wants me to score goals, to bring the people into the rink," he observes ruefully. "So what happens? There I am in Quebec City, playing my first game in about seven months, and when I move out for the face-off, this kid—I think his name is Bergeron—stands beside me, and then doesn't leave my side for the rest of the night. I thought those days were over." In Edmonton, Fonteyne, who had jumped from the Pittsburgh Penguins, not only shadowed Hull wherever he went and kept him in check most of the game, he also scored a goal himself as Edmonton eventually won 3-1.

However, the lone Winnipeg goal showed the effect Hull has on goaltenders. Christian Bordeleau, whom Hull had persuaded to jump with him from Chicago, skated down the right wing as he and Hull were killing off a penalty. Hull trailed Bordeleau by about 10 feet, and Goaltender Jack Norris obviously expected Bordeleau to drop a pass to Hull and then screen Bobby's shot. While Norris was thinking about the shot Hull surely would make, Bordeleau fired the puck himself and beat the goalie easily from 35 feet.

All in all, Hull has no regrets about his move to Winnipeg. "In a way it's sad. I spent 15 years in the National Hockey League—and now I get my reward in another league. You can say what you want about the WHA, but it has made the players rich.

"I was in Vancouver the night before the Canada- Russia game. My brother Dennis and I were having dinner at the Ritz with a few friends when Wayne Cashman of the Bruins stopped by to say hello. He asked me if I needed any tickets for the game, and I said I could use a few. He took out six tickets and gave them to me. Well, I reached into my pocket to get some money, but Cash waved me off.

" 'Bobby,' he said to me, 'there's no way I can ever repay you for what you did for me and all the rest of us by going with the WHA. We're all making more money thanks to you.' "

Even Referee Bill Friday.

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