Chicago Blackhawks Legend Stan Mikita Passes Away

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The Chicago Blackhawks and the Mikita family announced that Stan Mikita has passed away at the age of 78. The cause of death was not given.

Chicago Blackhawks Legend Stan Mikita Passes Away

Mikita played 22 years in the NHL, all with the Blackhawks. He twice won the Hart Trophy as league MVP. Mikita won four Art Ross trophies for leading the league in scoring. He also won two Lady Bing trophies. He is the only player in league history to win the Hart, Art Ross and Lady Bing in the same season, and he did it twice in 1966-67 and 1967-68.

In his career with Chicago, Mikita played in 1394 games and scored 541 goals and 1467 points a Blackhawks team record. The total also places Mikita 14th in NHL history. Mikita had a reputation as a great two-way player and a strong faceoff man. He innovated the game when he and Bobby Hull began to curve their sick blades to give them an edge shooting the puck. As a result of Mikita and Hull’s antics, the NHL put in a rule that limited a sick blade curve to 1/2″.

Mikita is best known for centring the famed “Scooter Line” in the 1960’s. He was one of the most feared centres in the NHL during the decade. Along with Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and the Blackhawks were an offensive juggernaut, often leading the league in scoring. In 1966-67 Mikita tied the then NHL record for points in a season, with 97.

Stan Mikita had his number 21 retired by the Blackhawks in 1980, the first ‘Hawks player to have such an honour. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

Remembering a Legend

Speaking about Mikita’s passing, Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wertz said, “There are no words to describe our sadness over Stan’s passing, he meant so much to the Chicago Blackhawks, to the game of hockey, and to all of Chicago. He left an imprint that will forever be etched in the hearts of fans – past, present and future. Stan made everyone he touched a better person. My wife Marilyn and I, joined by the entire Wirtz family, extend our prayers and thoughts to Jill and the Mikita family. ‘Stosh’ will be deeply missed, but never, ever forgotten.”

The Mikita family has asked for privacy during this difficult time. Funeral and visitation arrangements have not been made available.

It was reported in the Chicago Tribune that Mikita had been suffering from Lewy body dementia in 2015. While the disease had robbed Mikita of any memory of his former life, his achievements and legacy live on in the memories and stories of friends, family and fans.

 

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