When you look at greatest 100 Chicago Blackhawks of all-time, Stan Mikita has always been at or near the top of every list ever made.
Stan Mikita became a Chicago Blackhawks regular in the 1959-60 season at the age of 19, and he was still skating around the Chicago Stadium ice at the age of 39 in 1980.
No other Chicago Blackhawks player has ever played in as many games as Mikita (1,394) or collected as many points wearing the Blackhawks jersey than Mikita (1467).
Mikita was really a young role player when the Chicago Blackhawks shocked the NHL by winning the 1961 Stanley Cup.
Mikita started hitting his stride in 1963-64 when he started winning Art Ross trophies for being the Top point scorer in the NHL. Bobby Hull might have been the exciting player on the team, but the heart and soul of the team was #21.
An interesting thing did happen in Mikita’s career, as the story goes Mikita had a bit of a nasty streak in him early in his career as he collected over 100 penalty minutes in a season 4 times. When he returned home from a long trip he asked his kids if they had watched him play on TV, but he was surprised by the response of his kids that they only saw him when he was in the penalty box. After that Mikita cleaned up his game and won consecutive Lady Byng trophies.
Mikita only scored 40 or more goals once, but he had 40 or more assists in a season in 15 different seasons. In two of those seasons, Mikita would win back to back Hart Trophies as the League MVP. His last one after the 1967-68 season would be the last one in Blackhawks franchise history until Patrick Kane won his after the 2016 season.
Mikita was a 9 time All-Star, but that 1971 Playoff run will be something everyone will always wish they could get back. With a 2-0 lead in Game #7 at Chicago Stadium, Mikita, Hull and Tony Esposito couldn’t hold on for the 2nd Cup of this era.
Mikita was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, but he was much more than a Chicago hockey legend. Mikita helped the hearing impaired love hockey after his NHL career ended, something he helped co-found during his playing days and was a passion long after he was into retirement.
Mikita’s name became a cult favorite when Wayne’s World did a knock off of Tim Horton‘s in their movie and called it Stan Mikita’s Donuts.
Sadly, Mikita is now suffering from memory loss which is heartbreaking. Mikita really was the face of the Blackhawks for decades and he’s #2 on my All-time list.