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Throwback Thursday: This week in 1972, Winnipeg Jets make Bobby Hull the highest-paid athlete in North America

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

This week in 1972 (June 27), the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets made Bobby Hull the highest-paid athlete in North America signing the winger to a 10-year, $1.5-million contract.

Accounting for the contract with the WHA, the Jets and endorsements, the contract actually worked out to a $3-million deal over that decade which if in USD, would equate to about $1.8-million a year counting for inflation.

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Hull, then 34, was drafted by the Jets in that years WHA general player draft and had spent the prior 15 years with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks scoring 1153 points in 1036 games.

He became a huge piece of the Jets moving forward as over the next seven years in the WHA, he scored 303 goals and 638 points in 411 games. He won the MVP trophy in 1972-73 scoring 103 points and again in 1974-75 scoring 142 points.

Hull went to the NHL with the Jets, but was traded to the Hartford Whalers on Feb. 27, 1980 for future considerations. He retired from hockey after playing only nine games for the Whalers to care for his wife who was in a car crash.

On Twitter: @zjlaing