Morning Free Association: Rest in Peace Stan Mikita

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Hockey lost a legend yesterday when longtime Chicago Blackhawk Stan Mikita passed away at the age of 78 after succumbing to Lewy body dementia.

Mikita was born in the Slovak Republic in 1940 as Stanislav Guoth, living there until he moved to Canada to live with his aunt and uncle in Ontario. He acquired the surname Mikita when the couple adopted him.

Mikita played for the Blackhawks for 21 seasons, eventually retiring after suffering from chronic back pain from injuries sustained throughout his career. Mikita played in 1394 games for the Hawks, scoring 541 goals with 926 assists for 1467 points. He was 14th all-time in career points.

Mikita would only win the Stanley Cup once in his career in 1961. However, he did win many other awards in his career including the Hart Memorial Trophy (1967, 1968) and the Art Ross Trophy (1964,1965, 1967, 1968).

In 1980 months after his retirement, the Chicago Blackhawks retired his number 21, the first ever number the franchise had retired. Mikita was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.

Mikita, along with teammate Bobby Hull, were proponents of using curved blades on their sticks. He started using a curve after getting his stick blade stuck in the bench door. He liked the way he could handle the puck as a result of the accidental curve and started using propane torches to make all his sticks have curvatures. Mikita was also one of the first NHL players to wear a helmet full-time after getting a chunk of his ear torn off during a game. Don’t worry, he was able to have his ear repaired after the game.

The Blackhawks have arranged to hold a public visitation at the United Center for Mikita this weekend.

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Looking forward to tomorrow off. Need a break from all the problems at work this week. Then again, problems are kind of my paycheck. If things went smoothly I’d be out of a job!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Mo’ problems, mo’ money!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Hey Pals!
Drove to Albany yesterday for a piece of matble countertop. Jo loves it! I am tired.
Jo is having some sory of med exam today. She’s been having pain in her abdomen for awhile. Fingers crossed, eh?
I need to work, but need to boat!! I’m sure i’ll make the right decision!
Stan the man! Godspeed, sir!. My first hockey stick was a Stan Mikita! That was around 1969 or 70.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Wishing all the best to Jo!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Best wishes to Jo.

I need to work, but need to boat!! I’m sure i’ll make the right decision!

Work can wait!