Bobby Hull, arguably the best Canadian player not on Team Canada, watching from
the stands because of a dispute with the NHL over his departure to the WHA,
Dennis Hull helped to add some of the Hull's legendary scoring punch in somewhat
limited ice time.
But he almost didn't participate in
the Summit Series either.
Dennis' initial reaction was not to
attend Team Canada to show support for his brother Bobby in the controversial
dispute he had going. But Bobby convinced Dennis that he should take this
opportunity. And he's glad he did!
Dennis only dressed for 4 of the 8
games, but chipped in 2 goals and 2 assists. He took over from Vic Hadfield on
his usual left wing spot on the New York Rangers "Goal A Game" line
with Hall of Famers Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert.
"As we went along in the series, [head coach
Harry Sinden] started selecting players who were role-players," Hull said.
"In the last game, the left wingers were J. P. Parise, myself and Paul
Henderson. Those weren't exactly household names.
"I was fortunate to get a chance to play on
a line with [centre] Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert. Jean was a fabulous player to
play with. He told me to just play like I did in the NHL and not feel the
pressure and try to be the difference in the series."
Hull told the Globe and Mail in 1997 that one of
the most amazing aspects of Team Canada was how the team of NHL enemies bonded
so tightly and so quickly.
"We formed such a strong bond that you could
never look at those players again as the enemy," he said.
Hull, who is a noted comedian and star of the
public speaking circuit, also became good friends with Soviet netminder
"I told Tretiak that he's become famous for
letting in [Henderson's] goal," Hull said. "I said to him that 'if you
had stopped it, you'd probably be a cab driver in Moscow today.' "