#GlobalNews: « Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks icon, dies at 78 – National « 

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Stan Mikita, the hockey nice who helped the Chicago Blackhawks to the 1961 Stanley Cup title whereas changing into one of many franchise’s most revered figures, died Tuesday. He was 78.

Mikita’s household introduced his loss of life in an announcement launched by the crew. No additional particulars have been offered, however the Hall of Famer had been ill after being identified with a mind dysfunction referred to as Lewy physique dementia.

“He was surrounded by his loving family whom he fiercely loved,” the household mentioned within the assertion.

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Mikita spent his complete profession with Chicago, starting together with his NHL debut in 1959 and working by way of his retirement after taking part in 17 video games within the 1979-80 season. He is the franchise’s profession chief for assists (926), factors (1,467) and video games performed (1,394), and is second to former teammate Bobby Hull with 541 targets.

Mikita stays the one NHL participant in historical past to win the Art Ross (scoring champion), Hart (MVP) and Lady Byng (sportsmanship) trophies in the identical season, and he achieved the feat in consecutive years in 1967 and 1968. He grew to become the primary participant to have his jersey retired by the Blackhawks in 1980, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame three years later.

He was named one of many high 100 NHL gamers of all time by The Canadian Press in 2017. Born is the Slovak Republic earlier than shifting from Czechoslovakia to St. Catharines, Ont., as a younger boy, Mikita was on Canada’s roster for the 1972 Summit Series, however was restricted to 2 video games resulting from harm.

Mikita’s relationship with the Blackhawks deteriorated over time, however the franchise reached out to the previous captain after longtime proprietor William Wirtz died in 2007 and his son, Rocky, took over. Mikita and Hull every grew to become a crew ambassador and have been honoured with bronze statues exterior the United Center.

Mikita was an everyday at dwelling video games earlier than his well being deteriorated, drawing loud cheers when he was proven on the videoboard, usually with Hull proper beside him.

“I was proud to wear the Indianhead uniform for 22 years,” Mikita mentioned when he was honoured earlier than a 2008 dwelling sport.

The five-foot-nine Mikita was simply 18 when he was promoted from the Ontario Hockey Association’s St. Catharines Teepees to hitch a mediocre Blackhawks franchise in 1959. He made his debut at dwelling in opposition to mighty Montreal, and his first faceoff got here in opposition to Jean Beliveau throughout his prime.

“I was still in a daze when I went out to take that faceoff against a legend like Beliveau, who was around six-foot-five and a towering presence on the ice,” Mikita wrote in his 2011 guide, “Forever a Blackhawk.”

“He had to outweigh me by 60 pounds. The faceoff was in Montreal’s end. I looked up at him from the circle and wound up staring at his belly button. That’s how tall he was. My knees were shaking. My head was spinning. Somehow I got my stick down and managed to get the puck to our point man. Don’t ask me who it was. I was too nervous to remember names.”

But Mikita confirmed regular enchancment in the beginning of his profession, serving to Chicago grow to be some of the feared groups within the league. He had eight targets and 18 assists in his first full season, after which helped the Blackhawks to their first NHL title in 23 years.

The 1960-61 crew, coached by Rudy Pilous, went 29-24-17 within the common season, ending third within the NHL. Chicago then upset Beliveau and closely favoured Montreal, and beat Detroit in six video games for the championship. Mikita had 19 targets and 34 assists within the common season, after which added six extra targets and 5 assists in 12 playoff video games.

Mikita and the Blackhawks performed for the Stanley Cup once more in 1962, however misplaced to Toronto in six video games. They additionally misplaced within the finals in 1965, 1971 and 1973 regardless of continued post-season success for Mikita, who tops the franchise playoff lists for assists (91), factors (150) and video games (155).

Note: « Previously Published on: 2018-08-07 16:24:51, as ‘Stan Mikita, Chicago Blackhawks icon, dies at 78 – National

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