Master Blaster retires

I've long had mixed feelings about Hull. In part because I wish he could have remained a Flame. In part because he was so immensely talented and yet totally indifferent to any facet of the game outside of getting open for his shot. In part because he eschewed his Canadian heritage to play for the US (though I forgave him for that).

Never all that fleet of foot, Hull prospered as the ultimate stealth weapon. Periods of play would go by with him all but invisible in terms of his contribution, and then in what would seem a micro-second he would get open, Oates would put the puck would on his stick and he would have another goal.

Bossy was faster. Gretzky more prolific. Lemieux more dazzling. But Hull may well be the best pure shooter of all time.

He'll make the 2008 HOF selections a very tough call - for someone else (my bet is Doug Gilmour) - because like Messier, Hull is simply a gimme.

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