On the evening of October 19, 1980, the Chicago
Blackhawks retired the first number in team history — Stan Mikita’s
Mikita played his entire illustrious 22-year career with the Chicago
Blackhawks, amassing a remarkable 541 goals, 926 assists and 1,467 points.
Mikita came to the Blackhawks from the St. Catherines TeePees (Juniors)
in the 1958-59 season. In just his second full season with the Blackhawks,
Mikita led the team in scoring throughout the playoffs as Chicago won
the Stanley Cup in 1961.
Mikita led the Hawks to the Cup by scoring six goals and five assists
for 11 points in 12 games as Chicago defeated Montreal in the Semi-Finals
(4-games-to-2) and Detroit in the Finals (4-games-to-2).
A fixture at center for the Blackhawks in the 1960’s and 1970’s,
Mikita centered the famous "Scooter Line" with Ken Wharram and
Ab McDonald and later Doug Mohns.
That line helped Mikita win the NHL Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer)
four times: 1963-64, 1964-65, 1966-67 and 1967-68. He also won the Hart
Trophy (MVP) in 1966-67 and 1967-68 and the Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship)
in 1966-67 and 1967-68.
Mikita is the only player in NHL history to win the Art Ross, Hart and
Lady Byng trophies all in the same season — and he did it twice
(1966-67 and 1967-68).
Mikita can claim two notable contributions to the sport of hockey. He
became the first Czechoslovakian born player in the NHL and he discovered
that a curved blade made the puck slide and dip like a fastball.
A native of Sokolce, Czechoslovakia, Mikita was adopted by an aunt and
uncle and moved to St. Catharines, Ontario, at the age of eight. He joined
the Blackhawks at age 19 and by the time he retired from active play,
Mikita owned the Blackhawk career records for most assists (926) and points
(1,467) and was second only to Bobby Hull with 541 goals.
Mikita was a six-time First Team All-Star selection and was a Second
Team All-Star selection twice. Mikita was elected to the Hockey Hall of
Fame in 1983 and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago
Blackhawk Alumni Association.
Mikita runs a hockey school for the hearing impaired each summer in Chicago.
Bobby Hull became the second
Blackhawk in team history to have his number retired in a ceremony on
December 18, 1983, as his No. 9 was raised to the rafters.
Hull is not only the greatest left wing in Chicago Blackhawk history,
but he is arguably the best left wing in National Hockey League history.
The "Golden Jet" began his pro career in 1957 with the Blackhawks
and quickly established himself as a scoring threat. In his rookie season,
Hull was the second leading scorer on the Blackhawks, recording 13 goals
and 34 assists for 47 points.
Hull scored 39 goals during the 1959-60 season to begin a streak of 13
consecutive 30-or-more-goal seasons. He also captured the first of his
three Art Ross Trophies (NHL’s leading scorer) with 81 points.
On March 12, 1966, Hull became the first player in NHL history, to score
more than 50 goals in one season when he scored his 51st against the New
York Rangers. He reached the 50 or more goal plateau five times in his
career: 50 in 1961-62; 54 in 1965-66; 52 in 1966-67; 58 in 1968-69 and
50 in 1971-72.
By the time he left the Blackhawks to join the fledgling WHA’s
Winnipeg Jets in 1972, Hull had amassed 604 goals and 549 assists for
1,153 points in 1,036 games as a Blackhawk. He still stands as the All-Time
goal scoring leader in Blackhawk history and ranks second in points and
fourth in assists.
Hull played 411 games with Winnipeg in the WHA, where he scored another
303 goals and 335 assists for 638 points.
The Blackhawks reclaimed Hull from Winnipeg on June 9, 1979 prior to
the NHL expansion draft. However, Winnipeg reclaimed Hull four days later
in the expansion draft. Winnipeg traded Hull to Hartford on February 27,
1980, where he finished his NHL career.
The "Golden Jet" was a 10-time First Team All-Star selection
and was a Second Team All-Star selection twice. Hull won the Art Ross
Trophy three times (1959-60, 1961-62 and 1965-66); the Hart Trophy (MVP)
twice (1964-65 and 1965-66); the Lady Byng (Sportsmanship) in 1964-65
and the Lester Patrick (Service to Hockey) in 1969.
Bobby and his son, Brett, became the only father-son combination in NHL
History to win the Hart (MVP) Trophy, when Brett received the award in
June of 1991.