The Chicago Blackhawks have announced the passing of legend Stan Mikita at age 78.
Mikita played his entire career with the franchise, from 1958 to 1980.
“With great sorrow, the Mikita family announces that Stan passed away on Tuesday August 7, 2018 at the age of 78,” Mikita’s family said in a statement, via the Blackhawks’ press release. “He was surrounded by his loving family whom he fiercely loved. Details of planned services will be released when they become available. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”
Mikita is the Blackhawks’ all-time franchise leader in points (1,467) and games played (1,394). He was a four-time Art Ross Trophy winner and a Stanley Cup champion (1961).
The club raised his No. 21 sweater to the rafters following his retirement, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
In 2015, Mikita’s family shared that he was suffering from a suspected brain disorder widely believed to be Lewy body dementia.
“There are no words to describe our sadness over Stan’s passing. He meant so much to the Chicago Blackhawks, to the game of hockey, and to all of Chicago,” Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz stated in the team’s release. “He left an imprint that will forever be etched in the hearts of fans – past, present and future. Stan made everyone he touched a better person. My wife Marilyn and I, joined by the entire Wirtz family, extend our prayers and thoughts to Jill and the Mikita family. ‘Stosh’ will be deeply missed, but never, ever forgotten.”
Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough also issued the following statement:
“Stan Mikita will be always remembered as a champion, an innovator and a master of the game. He embodied the Chicago Blackhawks. His excellence is illustrated by the team records he still holds today. His passion for the game was proved by the longevity of his playing career. The impact he had on the franchise is proved by fact that Blackhawks fans still wear his jersey to the United Center. On behalf of the Chicago Blackhawks organization and our fans, we express our deepest condolences to the Mikita family and all who mourn Stan’s passing.”