MOSCOW (AP) _ Former NHL star Bobby Hull told a Russian newspaper that Nazis were not without merit, that the black population of the United States was growing too fast, and that genetic breeding was a worthy idea.
``Hitler, for example, had some good ideas. He just went a little bit too far,″ the Hall of Fame player told the English-language Moscow Times.
The former Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets star also said the Canadian government was too left-wing and was giving welfare payments to people who don’t deserve them, the Moscow Times reported Tuesday.
Asked if it would be fair to describe him as a racist, Hull reportedly replied: ``I don’t give a damn. I’m not running for any political office.″
Hull, 59, gave the interview last week while in Russia as a guest of the organizers of the annual Spartak hockey tournament.
Hull also touched on his relationship with his son, Brett, who recently signed a free agent contract with the Dallas Stars. It’s been said the relationship has been strained for years. But Hull said they were close.
``He is a very loyal kid,″ Hull reportedly said. ``Maybe he is not as strong mentally as I was and can’t always follow through on his decisions.″
It was Hull’s first visit to the former Soviet Union since 1976, when the Jets played in the Izvestia Cup. He also played for the World Hockey Association version of Team Canada when it visited Russia in 1974.
Hull, who scored 610 goals during 16 NHL seasons and twice won the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, said that the ``biggest disappointment of his life″ was not being allowed to play in the 1972 Canada-Soviet series, which only used NHL players.
``I wanted to play more than anything else. But those big NHL heads decided to pay me back,″ said Hull, who had 303 goals in seven seasons in the WHA after leaving the NHL after the 1971-72 season.
Hull, who grew up on a farm near Belleville and still breeds cattle, toured a collective farm in Russia and visited St. Petersburg.
``I played the way I live _ straightforward,″ Hull said in the interview. ``I have no regrets about anything I did in life.″
However, if he had to do it all again, he reportedly laughed and said, ``Maybe I’d drink a bit more.″