Chicago Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita is not in the best of health, but the Blackhawks will honor him with “One More Shift” for the team’s final home game of the 2017-18 season
When the Chicago Blackhawks face the St. Louis Blues on Friday, the host Blackhawks will conclude their United Center portion of the 2017-18 season while also trying to keep the Blues from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
But now, something far more important is occurring prior to that game. Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita is going to be honored with “One More Shift” ahead of that affair, the fifth such former Blackhawk to receive this honor during the 2017-18 campaign.
Mikita probably would’ve been the first guy to take part in this if not for his ongoing health issues. Mikita was diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia in 2015 and hasn’t been in the public spotlight very often since, despite being a current Blackhawks ambassador.
Having personally seen someone suffer through dementia, I can imagine it’s near impossible, if not outright impossible, for Mikita to skate these days. In lieu of that, the Blackhawks will have two of his grandsons take the ice for this honor.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “in-arena elements” will also be visible for fans to highlight Mikita’s storied career. He competed for the Blackhawks between 1958 and 1980, making eight All-Star teams, winning the Hart Trophy twice for league MVP and winning the Stanley Cup in 1961.
It’d be amazing if Mikita is able to show up in person for this event. I wouldn’t expect him to do any sort of skating, or even take the ice, really. Depending on how his health has or hasn’t deteriorated, he may presently be using a wheelchair to move around. But if he could get a moment to stand and wave at the fans, that would be incredible.
The Blackhawks will wrap up the 2017-18 season this week with games Wednesday and Friday against St. Louis before closing things out Saturday in Winnipeg. At least this announcement provides a little bit of excitement in a lost regular season.