In his second full season in the NHL, Stan Mikita led the entire league in goals during the playoffs (six) as the Blackhawks won their third and most recent Stanley Cup.
The following season, Mikita became a star as center of the “Scooter Line”, (with right wing Ken Wharram and left wingers Ab McDonald and Doug Mohns). Playing with superstar teammate Bobby Hull, the Blackhawks had the most powerful offense of the decade, leading the league in goals scored. 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. Mikita was an exceptional two-way forward and one of the game’s best faceoff men, and became famous for using his innovative curved stick.
In his early years, Mikita was among the most penalized players in the league, but went on to win the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy twice after his daughter infamously asked why her father spent so much time “sitting down.”
In total, Mikita played for Chicago from 1958-80, scoring 1,467 points (541 G, 926 A) in 1,394 regular season games and another 169 points (59 G, 91 A) in 155 career postseason games.
Many of Mikita’s franchise playoff records are in jeopardy this spring, as another young center, Jonathan Toews, hopes to follow in the footsteps of another great captain by leading the Blackhawks to the promised land.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Mikita!