Stan Mikita has no recollection of Blackhawks memories


Stan Mikita has no recollection of Blackhawks memories

Stan Mikita is the Blackhawks' all-time scoring leader with 1,467 points, a Stanley Cup champion, and a Hockey Hall of Famer. But he has no recollection of those memories.

The Blackhawks legend is suffering from Lewy body dementia. The Mikita family released a statement in January with the news, but Stan's wife, Jill, recently told Chicago Tribune's Chris Kuc that "the Stan we knew is gone."

"His mind is completely gone," said Jill. "I don't like to use that term but there's no other way to describe it."

Family members of Mikita, friends, and former players visit Stan often. But it's certainly not the same as it used to be.

"It was really hard to see him that way," said Denis Savard. "Knowing Stan all these years and just to see him the way he is now is really heartbreaking. When I see him, I don't see him unhappy because I don't think he knows what's going on and that way it kind of comforts me somewhat."

[RELATED: Joel Quenneville, Blackhawks lend support to Stan Mikita]

On a day where the Blackhawks can win their third Stanley Cup in six years, Mikita isn't aware of any of it.

"He doesn't know he's missing out, he has no idea," Jill said. "If he was terminally ill and his mind was intact then I think I would be heartbroken. But right now, he has no idea."

The Blackhawks offered their support to Mikita when they found out the news midway through the regular season. 

“Obviously he’s a big part of this family, the history of what it means to be a Blackhawk. You don’t feel the privilege to play for the Hawks if it’s not for people and players like Stan Mikita,” captain Jonathan Toews said. “Long after his playing days he’s still a humble, down-to-earth person who still takes the time to talk to everybody. He found ways to make other people feel good about themselves. That says more about him than anything else. We all look up to him and what he accomplished in the game of hockey. Our thoughts are definitely with him and his family.”

Mikita played for the Blackhawks for his entire 22-year career. He had his number raised to the rafters on Oct. 19, 1980 and had a bronze statue - along with Bobby Hull - unveiled outside of the United Center in October of 2011.

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: