Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita passes away at 78
National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement regarding the passing of Stan Mikita:
Stan Mikita lived a remarkable life and was a wonderful man, respected and revered by so many. One of the greatest players in NHL history and a Chicago icon, he was a pioneer of the game in so many ways.
He designed the distinctive helmet he donned later in his career, when that still was a rarity. He curved his stick blade to an extent previously unthinkable, causing his shot to do tricks. He utterly transformed his playing style in his prime, going from one of the League’s most penalized players to one of its most gentlemanly.
A gifted playmaker, his 926 career assists and 1,467 points are the most in Chicago Blackhawks history. A Stanley Cup champion, he is the only player in NHL history to win the Hart, Ross and Lady Byng trophies in the same year – he did that twice.
Once he arrived in Chicago he never left, becoming a pillar of the city. He played in more games for the Blackhawks than anyone and came to be as much a symbol of the franchise as The Roar of Chicago Stadium and the United Center and the classic sweater.
We are grateful for all Stan gave to us – his fans, his game, his admirers, his league and his city – and we mourn his passing. We extend our deepest sympathies to Stan’s wife, Jill, and their four children, Meg, Jane, Scott and Chris.