Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Hull joins 700 club in career NHL goals

The Associated Press

DETROIT - Brett Hull became the sixth player in NHL history to score 700 goals as the Detroit Red Wings beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Monday night.

Wayne Gretzky (894), Gordie Howe (801), Marcel Dionne (731), Phil Esposito (717) and Mike Gartner (708) are the others in the 700-goal club. Only Gretzky got there quicker than Hull.

Hull's milestone goal was a one-time wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle that slipped through Evgeny Nabokov's pads. Pavel Datsyuk set up Hull with a cross-ice pass.

Hull, the son of Hall of Famer Bobby Hull, went seven games without scoring after reaching 699. He smiled broadly as Wings teammates jumped off the bench to celebrate with him.

"It's a great feeling," Hull said. "I'm proud to do it in this jersey."

Relief? You bet.

"You think for a guy with a lot of goals, that if you go into a slump it doesn't affect you, but I think it got to me, and I was trying everything," he said. "I had so many great chances and so many great passes from people, and one finally went in."

Hull's father scored 610 goals in 1,063 games that spanned 16 NHL seasons. Brett passed dad with his first goal of the 2000-01 season - his final one in Dallas.

Patrick Boileau beat Nabokov high to the stick side from the right circle for his second career goal with 2:37 remaining to win the game.

WILD 1, FLYERS 0: Manny Fernandez, making his first start since missing 13 games with an injury, got his seventh career shutout as Minnesota blanked Philadelphia.

PENS TRADE KOVALEV: The New York Rangers added All-Star forward Alexei Kovalev to their struggling lineup from the Pittsburgh Penguins in an eight-player trade. The Rangers, already with an NHL-high $70 million payroll, are desperate to make the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

The Pens sent Kovalev, forward Dan LaCouture and defensemen Janne Laukkanen and Mike Wilson to the struggling Rangers for forwards Rico Fata and Mikael Samulesson and defensemen Richard Lintner and Joel Bouchard, plus $4 million.

Kovalev spent his first six seasons with the Rangers.

SENATORS: Majority owner Roderick Bryden said his offer for the NHL team, which he placed in bankruptcy protection last month, was accepted by the court-appointed monitor for the franchise. The team's senior lenders have also accepted the agreement, Bryden said.

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