"This story takes me back to the roots. 1975 at the Hartford Civic Center.
The great Bobby Hull made his first visit to Hartford with the Winnipeg Jets. After the game fans lined the glass from one end of the ice to the other, holding out souvenirs and programs, even just scraps of paper, hoping for a signature from the hockey legend. He spent more than 45 minutes signing every one of them, chatting with the fans as he went. By the time he reached his stall in the visitors locker room the gathering of reporters had dwindled to just three or four, the others having given way to their deadlines.
Hull asked the media for a few more minutes of understanding while he carried an armful of hockey sticks out to the corridor to be signed for a group of kids in wheelchairs. The game had been over for more than an hour before Hull finally sat down and kicked off his skates to answer questions from the two remaining reporters, the great Hartford Courant sports editor Bill Lee, and me. Hull was as gracious as any athlete with whom I’ve ever dealt, open and honest with his answers, always congenial, often animated, a 15 minute session I knew I would cherish forever.
“My only regret”, I said to Lee as we exited the locker room, “Is there weren’t a quarter of a million people looking over our shoulders to see that.”
“Don’t underestimate your importance”, Lee said in a grandfatherly tone, “That’s where you and I come in.' "