CHICAGO – He’s not just the face of an era, he’s a pillar of the franchise.
Stan Mikita embedded himself in that position with the Blackhawks after a 22-year career in which he’s the All-Time leader in scoring (1,467 points) and games (1,394).
It was his demeanor on the ice – a two-time Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner for sportsmanship – and off it that made him one of the true gentleman of the National Hockey League. His number was retired months after his career ended in 1980 and he found his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame three years later.
Those accomplishments and his work as an ambassador for the team late in his life are the reasons why Mikita was so revered in his career. So when he died at the age of 78 on Tuesday, the tributes poured in locally and around the hockey world.
The Blackhawks posted a number of tweets in remembrance of Mikita, and changed their avatar to a No. 21 with team logo in the middle in his honor. The team also released a video of his career accomplishments.
Current Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews sent their condolences as well.
A number of former Blackhawks also paid tribute on Twitter.
A few of Chicago’s other professional teams remembered Mikita on Tuesday as well.
Even a few NHL teams paid tribute to Mikita.