Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita, the leading scorer in Chicago Blackhawks history, died Tuesday. He was 78.
From 1958 to 1980, Mikita played 1,396 NHL games, all with the Blackhawks. The team won the Stanley Cup in 1961, and he won the Hart Trophy twice as league MVP. He scored 541 goals and 926 assists, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. In more recent years, he was an ambassador for the team, and had a statue raised in his honor at United Center in 2011. In 2015, Mikita's family announced he had been diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies, and he requested his brain be donated after his death for CTE research.
"There are no words to describe our sadness over Stan's passing," Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz said in a statement. "He meant so much to the Chicago Blackhawks, to the game of hockey, and to all of Chicago. He left an imprint that will forever be etched in the hearts of fans — past, present, and future." NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Mikita "lived a remarkable life," and was "respected and revered by so many. One of the greatest players in NHL history and a Chicago icon, he was a pioneer of the game in so many ways." Catherine Garcia