Hull was essentially to the Hurricanes/Whalers franchise what Babe Ruth was to baseball’s Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves.
Each Hall of Famer started by starring for and bringing glory to one team (the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Red Sox, respectively). Then they stunned their first big-league fan base by going elsewhere (the rival World Hockey Association’s Winnipeg Jets and rival New York Yankees, respectively).
And then, after a long and decorated run that set the standard for their second team, they each wound down with one year on a third club that would one day relocate.
For the Great Bambino, that was a 28-game stint with the National League’s Boston Braves in 1935, when he batted a career-low .181. For the Golden Jet, it was a partial-season run with the Hartford Whalers, a first-year transfer to the NHL out of the newly defunct WHA, in 1979-80.
The incumbent presence of contemporary legend Gordie Howe only partly overshadowed Hull in Hartford. Coming from the Jets at midseason, he at least chipped in two goals and five assists. His scoring pace was thus roughly the same as Howe’s (41 points in 80 games).
Above all else, besides his 15 years in Chicago and almost eight in Winnipeg, it was Hull’s brevity in Hartford that makes him one of the forgettable Whalers. As it happened, for his swan song campaign, Hull played twice as many regular season games for Winnipeg (18) as he did for Hartford (nine).
Three scoreless playoff outings for the Whalers comprised a whimper of a capper.