CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita, 78, passed away Tuesday, according to a statement from the team.
A statement from his family reads: “With great sorrow, the Mikita family announces that Stan passed away on Tuesday August 7, 2018 at the age of 78. He was surrounded by his loving family whom he fiercely loved. Details of planned services will be released when they become available. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”
CBS 2’s Ryan Baker spoke to Mikita’s fellow Blackhawk great Bobby Hull, who said he’s in a better place.
“You know it’s coming but it’s tough when it hits you,” Hull said Tuesday.”We lost a great friend. He was not only a great great player…but I lost a friend.”
Mikita was diagnosed with dementia in 2015.
Mikita played his entire 22-year hockey career with the Blackhawks. He led the team to the 1961 Stanley Cup, tallying 19 goals and 34 assists in that regular season and then six goals and five assists in 12 playoff games.
He’s the team’s all-time leader in points scored (1,467), assists (926) and games played (1,394). Mikita is also second in franchise history in goals (541) and sixth in penalty minutes (1,270).
The Blackhawks retired Mikita’s No. 21 in 1980, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983. Mikita was named a Blackhawks ambassador in 2008, and in 2011, the team unveiled a bronze statue of him outside the United Center along with Hull.
Hull released this statement following the news of Mikita’s death:
“I am saddened to learn of Stan Mikita’s passing. I, alongside all who played with him, knew him not only as a great player, but as an even better friend, teammate, husband, father and grandfather. I take comfort in knowing we will be forever together in front of the United Center, and I’m honored to now play a part in keeping his legacy alive. My thoughts and condolences go out to Stan’s wife, Jill, his children, Meg, Scott, Jane and Chris and his grandchildren.”