May 20th would have been Stan Mikita’s 81st birthday. In honor of the late, great “Stosh,” let’s take a moment to put his career – played completely in the Indian Head – into perspective.
On October 19, 1980, Mikita became the first Blackhawks player to have his number retired by the organization.
“Stosh” played 1,394 regular season games for the Blackhawks between 1958-59 and 1979-80, a number that still ranks eighth in NHL history for games played with a single organization. Of the seven players with more games played in a single sweater, four – Nicklas Lidstrom (DET), Ray Bourque (BOS), Steve Yzerman (DET) and Mike Modano (MIN/DAL) – began and finished their careers after Mikita stepped away.
Only three Red Wings – Lidstrom, Alex Delvecchio and Yzerman – have played more games while wearing only one sweater their entire career.
Perspective: the current roster leader in career regular season games played with the Hawks, Duncan Keith, has dressed for 1,192 games. Patrick Kane has dressed for 1,029 games.
Mikita scored 541 goals and posted 926 assists. Only six players in NHL history have accumulated more points for one franchise than Mikita’s 1,467 for Chicago: Gordie Howe (DET), Yzerman , Mario Lemieux (PIT), Wayne Gretzky (EDM), Joe Sakic (QUE/COL) and Bourque. Of those six, only Howe, Yzerman, Lemieux and Sakic player their entire careers for one franchise. Only one active player – Joe Thornton (1,529) – has more career points than Mikita. Sidney Crosby has 1,325 points for only the Penguins in his career.
Perspective: the current roster leader in career regular season points with the Hawks, Patrick Kane, has posted 1,088 points (404 goals, 684 assists).
Over 19 seasons between 1959-60 and 1977-78, Mikita failed to appear in a postseason game after only one season (1968-69).
He won the Hart Trophy twice (1967, 1968).
He won the Art Ross Trophy four times (1964, 1965, 1967, 1968).
He won the Lady Byng twice (1967, 1968).
He won the Lester Patrick Trophy once (1976).
He was a nine-time All Star.
Mikita was the Blackhawks captain from 1975-77.
He took his place among the game’s immortals when he was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.