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.
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.
- Stan Mikita - Career Statistics
- Stan Mikita - Injuries Plague The Last Decade Of His Career
- Other Free Encyclopedias