Stanislav "Stan" Mikita (born Stanislav Guoth; May 20, 1940), is a Slovak-born Canadian retired professional ice hockey player, generally regarded as the best centre of the 1960s. In 1961, he won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he played his entire career.
Mikita was born in Sokolce, Slovak Republic as Stanislav Guoth, but moved to Saint Catherines, Ontario, as a young boy to escape Communist-controlled Czechoslovokia. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle who gave him their surname, Mikita.
After three starring junior seasons with the Saint Catherines Teepees of the Ontario Hockey Association, Mikita was promoted to the parent Chicago Blackhawks in 1959. In his second full year, in 1961, the Hawks won their third Stanley Cup. The young centre led the entire league in goals during the playoffs, scoring a total of six.
The following season was his breakout year. Stan Mikita became a star as centre of the famed "Scooter Line", (with right wing Ken Wharram and left wingers Ab McDonald and Doug Mohns). He became the most-feared centre of the Sixties. With superstar teammate Bobby Hull, the Black Hawks had the most powerful offense of the decade, generally leading the league in goals scored. Combining skilled defense and a reputation as one of the game's best faceoff men using his innovative curved stick, Mikita led the league in scoring four times in the decade, tying Bobby Hull's single-season scoring mark in 1967 with 97 points (a mark broken two years later by former teammate Phil Esposito and currently held by Wayne Gretzky).
In his early years, Mikita was among the most penalized players in the league, but he then decided to play a cleaner game and went on to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for sportsmanlike conduct twice. Mikita's drastic change in behavior came after he returned home from a road trip. His wife told him that while their daughter, Meg, was watching the Black Hawks' last road game on television, she turned and said, "Mommy, why does Daddy spend so much time sitting down?" The camera had just shown Mikita in the penalty box again (from Mikita's autobiography "I Play to Win.")
During his playing career, in 1973, Mikita teamed up with Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik to form the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association (AHIHA), to bring together deaf and hard-of hearing hockey players from all over the country.
His latter years marred by chronic back injuries, Mikita finally retired during the 1980 season. Upon his retirement, he had the third-highest career scoring point total of any NHL player, after Gordie Howe and Phil Espoito. Mikita had played in the seventh most games of any player at the time. Mikita was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, and into the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002. He currently serves as an ambassador of good will for the Blackhawks' organization. On May 24, 2011, Mikita was diagnosed with oral cancer and would be undergoing external beam radiation therapy.
Mikita made an appearance as himself in the film Wayne's World, which featured an eponymous doughnut shop. This was a spoof reference to the Canadian doughnut chain Tim Horton's, also named after a retired hockey player. A restaurant named "Stan Mikita's" and closely resembling the movie's version opened in 1994 at the Virginia amusement park Kings Dominion and at Paramount Carowinds in Charlotte. The Virginia restaurant was later converted to a Happy Days theme.
Mikita provided the foreword to the children's book "My Man Stan" by Tim Wendel. Mikita is featured as a main character in the book.
|1956-57||Saint Catherines Teepees||OHA-Jr.||52||16||31||47||—||129||—||—||—||14||8||9||17||44||—||—||—|
|1957-58||Saint Catharines Teepees||OHA-Jr.||52||31||47||78||—||146||—||—||—||8||4||5||9||46||—||—||—|
|1958-59||Saint Catherines Teepees||OHA-Jr.||45||38||59||97||—||197||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
- Stanley Cup Champion
Awards and accomplishmentsEdit
- Ranked 14th all-time in points, 16th in assists, 29th in goals, and 32nd in games played (at end of 2009-10 NHL Season).
- Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as most valuable player in 1967 and 1968.
- Won Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer in 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968.
- Won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1967 and 1968.
- Named to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1968.
- Named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team in 1965 and 1970.
- Played in NHL All-Star Game in 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975.
- Won the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1976.
- The only player in NHL history to win the Hart, Art Ross, and Lady Byng trophies in the same season, doing so in consecutive seasons, in 1966–67 and 1967–68.
- Only Alex Delvecchio and Steve Yzerman had a longer career playing for only a single team.
- Was named to Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series, but only played two games due to injuries.
- Inducted into the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002.
- In 1998, he was ranked number 17 on The Hockey News' list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players, making him the highest-ranked player born outside of Canada, although he was trained in Canada.
- Most NHL games played by a European-born ice hockey forward (1,394).
- The Blackhawks retired #21 retired on October 19, 1980.
- The ice rink in Ruzemberok, Slovokia is named after him.
- In 2011, statues of Mikita and Bobby Hull were installed outside the United Center, where the Blackhawks currently play.
- ^ a b c d "Legends of Hockey - Stan Mikita". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- ^ "Hall of Famer Named Ambassador". 2008, Nov 13. Retrieved 2010, Mar 12.
- ^ http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/5573525-419/hawks-legend-stan-mikita-has-oral-cancer.html
- ^ "My Man Stan". Sun Bear Press. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-21.
- ^ a b c d e f "Stan Mikita career stats". eurohockey.net. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- ^ Moving moment for Hull and Mikita, Chicago Tribune