Brett welcomed to the Hull of Fame

Mon Nov 9, 2009 4:31pm EST
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - Brett Hull joined his father "the Golden Jet" Bobby Hull in the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, offering heartfelt thanks and stinging criticism as he prepared to take his place among the sport's greats.

A pure goal scorer who was never afraid to shoot or speak his mind, Hull will be formally inducted during ceremonies later on Monday alongside Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille, Brian Leetch and New Jersey Devils executive Lou Lamoriello.

The only father-and-son combination to play in the NHL and be enshrined in the Hockey Hall, Hull talked of following in his father's "giant footsteps" and lamented the lack of respect today's players have for each other on the ice.

The induction comes as the NHL is dealing with a rash of vicious head shots. The issue will be one of the main topics on the agenda when NHL general managers meet in Toronto on Tuesday.

Calls for change grew louder last week after a promising 16-year-old playing in Canada's top development league was slammed into the boards and had to be airlifted to a hospital in critical condition with multiple skull and facial fractures.

"The responsibility is on the players to have a little respect for each other," said Hull, whose many individual honors over a 20-year career include a Lady Byng trophy as the NHL's most sportsmanlike player. "There are going to be hits where people get hurt but somebody has got to do something about the unnecessary head shots.

"I don't think there is any respect in the game or it wouldn't happen."

Regarded as one of the greatest classes inducted into the Hockey Hall, all four players were first ballot entries, Hull, Yzerman and Robitaille winning a Stanley Cup together in 2002 as members of the Detroit Red Wings.   Continued...

<p>Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee Brett Hull poses with Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame's Board of Directors Bill Hay (R) and Co-Chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee Jim Gregory (L) in Toronto November 9, 2009. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>