Saturday, January 23, 2010

They Called Him Stosh

For 22 seasons, Stan Mikita gave Chicago Blackhawks fans plenty of excitement. In his second season, the Hawks won the Stanley Cup. While the Hawks haven't won the Cup since, Mikita racked up quite a few honors during his career.
When he retired he was #2 on the all-time scoring list (Gordie Howe was #1). Mikita won the Hart Trophy (player most valuable to his team), the Ross Trophy (scoring leader) twice and the Lady Byng trophy (sportsmanship). Mikita is the only player in NHL history to win all three awards during the same season. He has also won the Patrick trophy (contribution to hockey). He had his #21 retired by the Hawks and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
Mikita did all of this and was often overshadowed on his own team by Bobby Hull. Yet, Mikita never complained. He simply went out every game and produced.
It was exciting to meet him with my nephew Matt. Matt never saw Mikita play, but he understands and appreciates the older stars. I always get a special thrill out of Hawks from my youth, but meeting Mikita was like meeting hockey royalty.
I'll close with some random trivial notes about Mikita. He is #3 (behind Alex Delvecchio and Steve Yzerman) on the list of longest career with only 1 team. the infamous Mikita's Donuts from Wayne's World, existed only in the film.
Stan Mikita, Matt Parker and me in Mokena, IL-Fall 2008.

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