We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.
We have arrived at Stan Mikita day, and everyone should take a second and say a prayer or have a quiet thought for the Chicago Blackhawks legend. It was sad to hear this past year that Mikita is suffering Lewy Body Dementia which is a very progressive disease. It was very sad not seeing #21 in the luxury box seats this year during the Chicago Blackhawks run to their third Stanley Cup in 6 seasons. He was a fixture in 2010 and 2013 alongside other legends like Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito.
Mikita is Mr. Blackhawk to me. His name is all over the Chicago Blackhawks record books and is in the Top 5 of every statistic that was official back in his playing days. Mikita of course was a pretty young player when he won the 1961 Stanley Cup Championship, and even though he made the Stanley Cup Final several time, the 61 season is the only time he lifted the Cup.
He was a fantastic scorer and passer, and his list of NHL accomplishments and awards are pretty long, here is a list of the biggest ones in the career of Stan Mikita.
- 1961 Stanley Cup Champion
- 1967,1968 Hart Trophy Winner
- 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968 Art Ross Trophy Winner
- 1967, 1968 Lady Byng Winner
- 6 time First NHL All-Star
- #21 Retired on 10/19/80
- Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983
Even today, Mikita still sits in 14th place overall in NHL Points with 1,467, and he’s far and away the franchise leader with 1,394 games played which is 314 more games than 2nd place Bobby Hull.
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- Best Blackhawks Goalie of All-Time: Esposito, Hall, or Crawford?
- The Jersey Numbers Never Worn in Blackhawks History
The amazing thing as even though his number was retired there were other players before him to have worn #21, here is a quick look at those players.
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 Sasakamoose-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.
21 Days until opening night!! Thanks Stan Mikita for all you did for the Chicago Blackhawks franchise!
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