If he didn't go to the WHA and play for the jets for 7years, could he have scored more than Howe (at the time) and set a record that not even Gretzky would have been able to reach?
He scored 303 goals in the WHA, 610 in the NHL, if say he stayed on the same pace in the NHL during those years and scored 913 goals for his career.
Yes i was bored and just thinking too much playing around on Hockeydb. Just something to discuss.
He was on the downside of his career and likely could have topped 750 but to suggest he would score at the same rate in the NHL is insane in my view. He was on a great line in the peg and well the rest of the WHA didn't have great lines to say the least.
He probably would have had a decent shot at passing Howe's NHL totals. Howe had 786 NHL goals (not counting the 15 he got in his last year) and Hull left with 604. He'd only have needed to average just over 30 goals a year over six seasons, and when he left the NHL he was coming off a 50-goal year. Do-able, probably, but I don't think he could have gotten enough to stay ahead of Gretzky's 894.
And if Howe had never left the NHL and played all the way through until his last season in 79-80, he'd have been out of reach of both, even if you figure he was good for only 15-20 a year. Might've even hit a thousand.
Bobby Hull was great and is one of the best ever to lace up a pair of skates but the WHA was a "floaters" league. Hull put up good numbers with Ulf Nilson and Hederg but if you look at the stats none of those gus put up the numbers quite the same as in the NHL when truly the best in the world were playing.
Hull left one of the two or three best teams in the NHL to go to the WHA. He was also playing with a Hall of fame center (Stan Mikita). There were many weak teams in the NHL with all of the expansion before and during his years in the WHA. I have no doubt that he would have put up impressive numbers in the NHL, providing he was healthy. But you can only speculate on how impressive.
Hull could have easily gotten to 750+ goals had he stayed in Chicago, but he wasn't appreciated there by ownership as much as he should have been, so...
I imagine he could have scored 50+ goals in each of the next 2 seasons at least, that would put him at 710 or so by 1975-ish. Figure he would start slowing down a bit after that (to maybe 40 goals), and then down to 30 goals after that, he'd be around 800 fairly easily by 1980 (when he retired as a Hartford Whaler). No way does he match his WHA numbers in those years, but he certainly would not have dropped to a 20-goal-a-year player for at least 5 seasons.