Ted Bulley spent parts of eight seasons in the National Hockey league with the Chicago Blackhawks. A hardnosed left winger, he played alongside NHL Hall of Famers Denis Savard and Bobby Orr.
Bulley was born in Windsor on March 25, 1955. He attended Riverside High School and is a product of Riverside Minor Hockey.
Bulley played his Junior B hockey with the Windsor Royals, where he led the league in rookie scoring with 32 goals in the 1971-72 season.
Bulley was invited to the Junior A Peterborough Petes’ training camp at the start of the ’72-73 season, and he ended up playing six games with the club. While the Petes saw Bulley’s immediate future in Tier 2 Junior A, Bulley was not keen on the project and opted to return to Windsor to play Tier 2 hockey with the Spitfires.
In Windsor, Bulley played under coach Gerry Serviss on the left side of a forward line with Scott Miller and Mark Smith.
The following season, Bulley moved to the Quebec Major Junior A League to play for the expansion Hull Olympiques. He was an immediate success, managing 28 goals, 37 assists, and 65 points in 67 games. The following year, this time playing under former Windsor Spitfires coach Wayne Maxner, Bulley found himself among the league’s top scorers. He recorded 48 goals, 61 assists, and 109 points.
Bulley’s strong play for Hull saw him selected by the Chicago Blackhawks as the club’s seventh choice (115th overall) in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft. For the ’75-76 season, Chicago sent him to the Flint Generals in the International Hockey League, where he played 38 games and tallied 28 points. Bulley stayed with Flint for the following season and his play improved significantly. He played in 70 games and recorded 46 goals and 46 assists for 92 points. Those numbers made him the Generals’ second leading scorer and earned him an All-Star Team selection. Bulley still qualified as a rookie according to IHL’s rules, making him the league’s top rookie goalscorer. Bulley was called up for two NHL games with the Blackhawks that season.
Bulley stuck with the Blackhawks from 1978-88 to ’81-82. In his five full seasons in Chicago, he submitted 23, 27, 14, 18, and 12 goals consecutively en route to 51, 50, 31, 34, and 30 points. Known for his physical play, Bulley added 645 penalty minutes. He was a “plus” player in three of his five seasons and finished his Blackhawks career with a plus-27 rating.
The 1978-79 season was Bulley’s most productive as an individual. He scored 27 goals and added 23 assists for 50 total points and a spot on that year’s All-Star ballot. Notably, his 9 game-winning goals were second in the NHL only to Guy Lafleur’s 12. He was also second in the league in shooting percentage.
In 1981-82, Bulley’s final season in Chicago, the team reached the Campbell Conference finals, where it fell to Vancouver. The Canucks went on to lose in four straight games to the dynastic 1980s New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Finals. Bulley played that season with Bobby Orr, one of the game’s greatest ever players, who joined the Blackhawks for 26 games before retiring from hockey.
Bulley was traded to the Washington Capitals ahead of the next season. He played in 39 games before his contract expired at the end of the campaign. The Pittsburgh Penguins picked him up as a free agent ahead of the 1983-84 season. Bulley managed 26 NHL games with the Penguins and an additional 49 games with the Baltimore Skipjacks, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate.
Bulley retired from hockey with 106 goals, 118 assists, 224 points, and 728 penalty minutes in 443 career NHL games.