Stan Mikita

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Stan Mikita
Hockey Hall of Fame, 1983
Stan Mikita.jpg
Born (1940-05-20) May 20, 1940 (age 73)
Sokolče, Slovak Republic
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)
Weight 169 lb (77 kg; 12 st 1 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Played for Chicago Black Hawks
National team  Canada
Playing career 1958–1980

Stanislav "Stan" Mikita (born Stanislav Guoth; May 20, 1940), is a Slovak-born Canadian retired professional ice hockey player for the Chicago Black Hawks of the National Hockey League, generally regarded as the best centre of the 1960s.[citation needed]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Mikita was born in Sokolče, Slovak Republic as Stanislav Guoth, but moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, as a young boy to escape Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia. He was adopted by his aunt and uncle who gave him their surname, Mikita.[1]

Playing career[edit]

After three starring junior seasons with the St. Catharines Teepees of the Ontario Hockey Association, Mikita was promoted to the parent Chicago Black Hawks 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).[1] 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 1966–67 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.

Use of curved stick[edit]

Mikita and teammate Bobby Hull were the most formidable forward duo of the Sixties, notorious for using sticks with curved blades. Such sticks gave a comparative advantage to shooters versus goalies. As a result, the NHL limited blade curvature to 1/2" in 1970.[2]

Retirement[edit]

Mikita's latter years were marred by chronic back injuries, leading to his retirement during the 1979–80 season.[1] At that time only Gordie Howe and Phil Esposito had scored more points in the NHL, and just six players had appeared in more games. 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 a good will ambassador for the Blackhawks' organization.[3] On May 24, 2011, Mikita was diagnosed with oral cancer and would be undergoing external beam radiation therapy.[4]

Mikita is currently 14th in regular season points scored in the history of the NHL, and just three other players have appeared in more games while playing for only one team over their career.

Mikita appeared as himself in the film Wayne's World, which featured a "Stan Mikita" doughnut shop, spoofing a Canadian doughnut chain named after a retired hockey player, Tim Hortons. 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.[5] Mikita is featured as a main character in the book.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts +/- PIM PP SH GW GP G A Pts PIM PP SH GW
1956–57 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 52 16 31 47 129 14 8 9 17 44
1957–58 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 52 31 47 78 146 8 4 5 9 46
1958–59 St. Catharines Teepees OHA-Jr. 45 38 59 97 197
1958–59 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 3 0 1 1 4
1959–60 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 67 8 18 26 119 3 0 1 1 2
1960–61 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 66 19 34 53 100 12 6 5 11 21
1961–62 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 25 52 77 97 12 6 15 21 19
1962–63 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 65 31 45 76 69 6 3 2 5 2
1963–64 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 39 50 89 146 14 1 7 7 3 6 9 8
1964–65 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 28 59 87 154 8 0 6 14 3 7 10 53
1965–66 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 68 30 48 78 58 11 1 1 6 1 2 3 2
1966–67 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 70 35 62 97 12 8 1 5 6 2 2 4 2
1967–68 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 72 40 47 87 -3 14 13 2 8 11 5 7 12 6 3 0 0
1968–69 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 74 30 67 97 +17 52 7 3 2
1969–70 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 39 47 86 +29 50 7 0 8 8 4 6 10 2 3 0 1
1970–71 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 74 24 48 72 +21 85 7 0 4 18 5 13 18 16 1 0 1
1971–72 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 74 26 39 65 +16 46 5 0 6 8 3 1 4 4 0 0 0
1972–73 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 57 27 56 83 +31 32 7 1 5 15 7 13 20 8 1 0 2
1973–74 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 30 50 80 +24 46 6 2 1 11 5 6 11 8 1 0 1
1974–75 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 79 36 50 86 +14 48 12 0 6 8 3 4 7 12 1 0 1
1975–76 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 48 16 41 57 -4 37 6 0 1 4 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
1976–77 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 57 19 30 49 -9 20 6 1 4 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0
1977–78 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 76 18 41 59 +18 35 6 0 2 4 3 0 3 0 2 0 0
1978–79 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 65 19 36 55 +3 34 4 0 1
1979–80 Chicago Black Hawks NHL 17 2 5 7 +2 12 0 0 0
OHA-Jr. totals 149 85 137 222 472 22 12 14 26 90
NHL totals 1394 541 926 1467 +159 1270 127 12 67 155 59 91 150 169 12 0 6

Awards and accomplishments[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

The Wayne's World movies include scenes in the fictional "Stan Mikita's Donuts" which is a thinly disguised homage to Tim Hortons, a Canadian donut shop named after former Toronto Maple Leaf Tim Horton. Wayne's World star and creator Mike Myers is originally from the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, Ontario, however, as Wayne's World is set in Chicago various Toronto-area references and landmarks have been transposed to Chicagoland and thinly disguised.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Legends of Hockey - Stan Mikita". Legends of Hockey. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  2. ^ The 10 best player-inspired NHL rules changes
  3. ^ "Hall of Famer Named Ambassador". Nov 13, 2008. Retrieved Mar 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ Chicago Sun-Times. 2012-06-16 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/hockey/5573525-419/hawks-legend-stan-mikita-has-oral-cancer.html |url= missing title (help). 
  5. ^ "My Man Stan". Sun Bear Press. 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Stan Mikita career stats". eurohockey.net. 2010-03-12. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  7. ^ Moving moment for Hull and Mikita, Chicago Tribune

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Pit Martin
Chicago Blackhawks captain
1976–77
with Pit Martin
Succeeded by
Keith Magnuson
Preceded by
Bobby Hull
Winner of the Hart Trophy Succeeded by
Phil Esposito
Preceded by
Gordie Howe
Bobby Hull
Winner of the Art Ross Trophy
1964, 1965
1967, 1968
Succeeded by
Bobby Hull
Phil Esposito
Preceded by
Alex Delvecchio
Winner of the Lady Byng Trophy
1967, 1968
Succeeded by
Alex Delvecchio