Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stan Mikita

Regular visitors here know that Stan Mikita was my boyhood hockey hero.

Stan Mikita came to Canada as a boy, sent here by his parents to live with his uncle and aunt, to find a better life, away from wartorn Europe. Stan was what they called a DP back in the 1940s, short for displaced person, not a friendly term. As a youngster Stan Mikita learned to fight back pretty early. He carried that chip on his shoulder all the way to the NHL where he earned a reputation as a tough (and dirty) player. He fought to establish himself in what was a tough tough league and he became one of the greatest players of all time. When he retired he was third all time in scoring. People forget Stan Mikita sometimes. He was one of the best ever. He could skate like the wind and he was perhaps the best playmaker to ever play before some guy named Gretzky came along. He could score goals. He took care of his own end and he killed penalties and he won faceoffs. He was a beauty.

News today that Stan Mikita is facing his toughest fight yet, as he battles cancer,

Good luck Stan. I know you'll face this foe with the courage and toughness that marked your career and I hope that you beat it. I really hope that you beat it.


Swabbubba said...

Stan was overshadowed by "the Golden Jet" . But he was is/was the man loyal to the team. Even when he was old the dude had wheels. I hope he can win this fight sounds like they caught it early.

Well the west has been won... but the Nucks are not awe inspiring but hey they are getting it done. They are West Conf champs hell they do have the gods on their side if any possible bounce/break they get it. I guess rather be lucky than good... lol they are good but hell sometimnes luck helps huge. I guess tossing the puck from center ice with an empty net will come back to haunt the Sharks.

Ribs said...

Fucking Cancer.

Lowetide said...

Mikita was an awesome player. Looking back, he was very unique in several ways: a filthy player who suddenly gave up the rough stuff and reached even higher plateau's as a skill C; the way he filed down his stick; his exceptional passing, and maybe most of all the way he went about his business quietly all the while representing the heart and soul of that great Blackhawks team.

Wonderful player. I wish we could get the 1971 SCF on DVD.

Black Dog said...

LT - Dad turned me onto Stan, when he was a kid Max Bentley was his favourite player and then he became a fan of Mikita. Once I started watching hockey (74 is when I really started) he had begun to decline, back problems, so I never saw him in his prime.

Watching the Summit Series last summer I got to see him in two games and while his fitness was awful because he was coming off surgery I caught some flashes of the player that he was. He was aguy who did the big things well but all of the little things as well. Faceoffs, hard on the puck, his understanding of the game. And he was a competitor. He was barking something fierce at the refs and the Russians.

Hard to argue with Sinden going with Esposito, Clarke and Ratelle, they were all excellent, but it would have been nice to see more of him in that tournament.

Black Dog said...

Damn right Ribs. Fucking cancer.

Swabb - Canucks have gotten some bounces but I think its the usual, you have to be good to be lucky. I can't argue with where they are at. Folks turn their noses up at that last goal but jeez it was game five. They deserved it.