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Remembering Bobby ‘the Golden Jet’ Hull in Waterloo region

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Though Bobby Hull will forever be remembered for the excitement he generated on the ice, the late hockey star also had a local connection, launching his junior hockey career in Waterloo region.

Hull played in Cambridge in the 1950’s with the Hespeler Hawks and the Galt Black Hawks.

“He had a connection to Cambridge in his young days and whenever a legend passes away, a lot of people admire him and hero worship him,” said Dave Menary, co-founder of the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame.

Menary said Hull was scouted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1953 to play with the Junior ‘B’ Hespeler Hawks at just 14 years old.

He later joined the Junior ‘A’ Galt Black Hawks up until the 1954-1955 season.

“Most of his practices were at Hespeler Arena but he did play half a dozen games with Galt Junior ‘A’ Black Hawks’ team, which was based out of Galt Arena,” said Menary.

The Galt Arena is believed to be the oldest continually operating arena in the world, having celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. Some memories of Hull’s time there are still showcased.

“There’s been a lot of players and people that come through here and ended up in the NHL with great careers and Bobby Hull was one of the biggest,” said Dean Bevan, supervisor of Galt Arena Gardens.

Despite Hull’s short stint in Cambridge, Bevan said he left a lasting impact.

“A lot of people were great followers of him. He had a big fan base and I’m sure they became Chicago Blackhawks fans,” he said.

Throughout his illustrious career, Hull earned the Golden Jet nickname for a reason.

“He was working on his slap shot that he became famous for in the NHL later,” said Menary.

Off the ice, Hull was also an all around athlete, playing football at Preston High School and competing in track and field at Galt Collegiate. It was at a meet, where Hull pulled his hamstring.

“There he is out on the ice not performing very well. They ended up sending him to Woodstock which had a Junior B team,” said Menary.

According to Menary, even though Hull was initially upset, he went on to win the All Ontario Junior ‘B’ Championship there, propelling his career to eventually lead him to the NHL.

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