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Stan Mikita

Played For Canada

In 1972, Mikita played a marginal role in the Summit Series, which pitted Team Canada against the strong Soviet team in Russia. Though Mikita played in only two of the eight games in the series because Canada had so much depth at center, the trip had more meaning to Mikita who was finally able to play hockey in front of his birth family. After the Summit Series ended, the Canadian team played an exhibition against the Czechoslovakian national team in Prague. For the game, Mikita was named team captain, though he did not score in the game.

Returning to the Blackhawks, Mikita was frustrated by the team's struggles in the mid-1970s and considered retiring. Still, in 1973-74, he lead his team in scoring with 80 points (30 goals and 50 assists), but the team lost to Boston in the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Blackhawks showed its appreciation for Mikita's long tenure by having a Mikita night at Black Hawks' Stadium in February 1974. Mikita did not want any gifts for himself as were usually given at such events. Instead, he wanted the funds to go into a scholarship fund at Illinois' Elmhurst College. He also gave back to the community in other ways. After being approached by the father of a deaf player in 1974, Mikita was the co-founder of the American Impaired Hearing Association and Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired. These groups taught hockey to deaf and hearing impaired youngsters and started a deaf hockey movement in the United States and Canada. In 1976, Mikita's contributions to the game in the United States led his being awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy.

Career Statistics

Chicago: Chicago Blackhawks.
Yr Team GP G A PTS +/− PIM
1958-59 Chicago 3 0 1 1 4
1959-60 Chicago 67 8 18 26 119
1960-61 Chicago 66 19 34 53 100
1961-62 Chicago 70 25 52 77 97
1962-63 Chicago 65 31 45 76 69
1963-64 Chicago 70 39 50 89 149
1964-65 Chicago 70 28 59 87 154
1965-66 Chicago 68 30 48 78 58
1966-67 Chicago 70 35 62 97 12
1967-68 Chicago 72 40 47 87 -3 14
1968-69 Chicago 74 30 67 97 -17 52
1969-70 Chicago 76 39 47 86 +29 50
1970-71 Chicago 74 24 48 72 +21 85
1972-73 Chicago 74 26 39 65 +16 46
1972-73 Chicago 57 27 56 83 +31 32
1973-74 Chicago 76 30 50 80 +24 46
1974-75 Chicago 79 36 50 86 +14 48
1975-76 Chicago 48 16 41 57 -4 37
1976-77 Chicago 57 19 30 49 -9 20
1977-78 Chicago 76 18 41 59 +18 35
1978-79 Chicago 65 19 36 55 +3 34
1979-80 Chicago 17 2 5 7 +2 12

Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired

In 1974, Mikita was approached by Chicago businessman Irv Tiahnybik in a restaurant one night and convinced the hockey star to help teach hearing impaired children how to play hockey. Tiahnybik's young son Lex had played the game for several years, but had recently had a bad experience with a coach who did not want to deal with the young deaf player. Together they founded the American Impaired Hearing Association for deaf and hard of hearing youth, and its related Stan Mikita Hockey School for the Hearing Impaired. The school held an annual summer camp to teach the game to young deaf players, and give them a way to relate to the hearing world. At first, Mikita was unsure how to deal with his students because he had no experience with the hearing impaired. Mikita told Brad Herzog of the Sports Illustrated, that when he moved to Canada and knew no English, "I could hear the words, but I had no idea what they meant. Although I wasn't shut out by the hearing world, I was basically being shut out by my peers." Mikita and a host of other NHL professionals, college coaches and players, and others have taught the young hockey players how to play the game and host a tournament every summer in Chicago. Though the camp's focus is hockey, it is also about supporting its young players by providing hearing aids, speech therapies, counseling, and financial support for families. By 1995, over 80 campers were there; in 1997, over 100. The annual camp has lead to the formation of the U.S. National Deaf Hockey Team which won the silver medal at the Winter Games for the Deaf in 1991, gold in 1995, and silver in 1999.

The last few years of Mikita's career were marked by a new attitude in the Blackhawks organization. By the 1977-78 season, the team was taken over by Bob Pulford as coach. Pulford turned them into division champions, and Mikita started to have fun again. Mikita was still a force on the Blackhawks, regularly winning face-offs which were always a strong point for him.

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsHockeyStan Mikita Biography - Early Years, Introduction To Hockey, Chronology, Joined The Blackhawks, Won Stanley Cup, Used Curved Blade - SELECTED WRITINGS BY MIKITA: