The National Post's Sean Fitzgerald recently sat down with the legendary Bobby Hull for a 20 questions session. Hull of course is famous for being the first million dollar hockey player, receiving a million dollar signing bonus from the Winnipeg Jets.
"It wasn’t the Winnipeg Jets. It was the World Hockey Association. There were nine teams in the league at that time, when we first began, and they all divvied up $110,000 or whatever it was. And the million came from all nine teams."
Every player since that day owes Bobby Hull a debt of gratitude. He was hockey's great financial pioneer. So what does he think about the fact that this NHL season more than 400 players will earn at least $1 million in salary?
"Isn’t that something? Oh, god. Just to give you an idea, when I broke in, in 1957, I made $6,500. So you’re saying 400? Isn’t that something? Making $1-million or more? That is unbelievable … that, to me, is out of whack. The Ovechkins and the Malkins and the Crosbys and the kid in Tampa and the Kanes and the Toews, they all deserve to be paid royally because they entertain royally. But, there are a lot of those players that you talk about — making a million or more — that should be making basic rates, according to their ability to draw people into the building."