Hockey’s Golden Jet lands in Aspen for Leafs’ game
The Aspen Times
The Golden Jet is landing in Aspen.
Bobby Hull, considered one of the greatest hockey players in National Hockey League history, will be the featured guest Saturday night at the Aspen Ice Garden for the Aspen Leafs’ final game of the Rocky Mountain Junior Hockey League season.
“We are thrilled to have the greatest left wing ever to play the game here in Aspen,” said Shaun Hathaway, director of Aspen Junior Hockey and head of the first-year RMJHL. “We’re thrilled to have him with our players and coaches, our fans and the community. This reflects where we are with embracing this great game.”
Hull will be introduced at the Saturday night game at the downtown Aspen Ice Garden when the host Aspen Leafs take on the Grand Junction Glacier Yetis at 7:15 p.m.
The game is the final game of the year for the Leafs, who have clinched a first-round bye in the upcoming RMJHL playoffs at the Air Force Academy.
The Aspen Leafs, a 20-and-under junior team, will open the final series of the year with a 7 p.m. game Friday at the Aspen Ice Garden.
Hull, the brother of Blake Hull of Aspen Junior Hockey, had a decorated 23-year National Hockey League career that spanned 1,063 games played.
He scored 610 goals with 560 assists for 1,170 career NHL points.
Hull, one of the fastest players ever, scored 50 or more goals in nine different seasons, first breaking the 50-goal mark in 1960-61 with the Chicago Blackhawks.
Hull won the Stanley Cup in 1961 with the Blackhawks.
He also led the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets to league championships in 1976, 1978 and 1979.
Hull won the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP) twice, the Art Ross Trophy (league scoring leader) three times and the Lady Bing Trophy (league sportsman) once.
He completed his NHL career in a Hartford Whalers jersey during the 1979-80 season.
Bobby Hull was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
Proceeds from gate revenue and concessions Saturday will be donated to Challenge Aspen, a local nonprofit. Friday’s proceeds also will go to an Aspen nonprofit.
The Aspen Leafs will head into the final weekend with a new player —forward Cam DuFault, who has been with the Leafs for two weeks.
The 18-year-old forward was obtained via trade from the North American tier 3 league in the East. The Leafs were tipped off about DeFault from Andrew Lee who was former teammates with DuFault last season in Wenatchee.
“I remembered Cam from last season coaching against Wenatchee,” said Aspen Leafs head coach Jay Miller. “I knew he was a hard worker and could give us some much needed depth, but I didn’t think he would walk right in and contribute like he did.”
The 6-0, 190-pound Dufault had six points on his opening weekend with the Leafs (three goals, three assists).
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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