#21 is the 2nd retired number on our countdown list leading up to opening night. Stan Mikita wore #21 for the Chicago Blackhawks for parts of 4 decades from 1959-1980. Mikita is either first or second in almost every major Blackhawks offensive category all-time.
Stan Mikita played in 1,394 NHL career games with the Blackhawks which is over 300 more games than 2nd on the list Bobby Hull. Mikita is also the all-time leader in Chicago Blackhawks history in points with 1,467 points. Mikita is the Hawks all-time assists leader with 926 while he ranks 2nd in goals scored with 541 only trailing Hull.
Mikita also won a lot of hardware along the way winning the Hart Trophy twice in back to back season in 1966-1967 and 1967-1968. Mikita won the Art Ross Trophy four times between 1963 and 1968. The hardware that has the most legend behind it is the two Lady Byng’s that Mikita won during his career. Early in his career Mikita collected a lot of penalty minutes, but after coming back from a road trip the story has it Mikita’s daughter asked him why he spent so much time off of the ice and after that the rest is history.
Mikita won one Stanley Cup during his tenure with the Hawks during the 1961 season. This is the only downer of his resume that the Hawks with Mikita and Hull didn’t win more Cups although they had their chances.
There are six former Blackhawks who wore #21 before Mikita arrived in Chicago
1. James Bedard 1951 Bedard played 21 games with the Blackhawks scoring 1 goal and 1 assist during his brief NHL career.
2. Kenny Wharram 1952-1954 Wharram also wore #11 and #17 during his Blackhawks career. Wharram played 766 games with the Blackhawks scoring 252 goals and 281 assists.
3. Fred Sasakamosse-1955 Fred played 11 games with the Hawks with 6 penalty minutes to show for his efforts.
4. Pierre Pilote-1957 Before switching to his retired #3, Pilote wore #21 for one season in 57.
5. John McKenzie-1959 McKenzie played 3 seasons and 128 games for the Blackhawks during his career he scored 20 goals and 23 assists.
Only 21 days until Stanley Cup banner #5 gets raised to the United Center rafters in the same area code as Stan Mikita’s #21!
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