The black covers fell revealing Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull's statues, bronze figures sculpted and painted with the trademark red Chicago Blackhawks sweaters.
"Here we are, linemates again, forever in bronze, outside the great Madhouse," Hull said. "Saluting one of the greatest 1-2 punches in the history of the game."
Indeed, two of the most prolific Blackhawks of all time are now a part of the United Center landscape forever after their statues were unveiled prior to the Blackhawks' game against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. For the duo, who were welcomed back as organization ambassadors a few years ago, Saturday night's dedication was a thrill.
And they loved the sculpted results.
"I've never been called beautiful," Mikita said. "But I'm gonna call myself beautiful."
The gorgeous bronze statues, which were sculpted by the RotblattAmrany Fine Art Studio are located on the northeast corner of the arena.They are a fitting tribute to the two Hall of Famers who helped the Blackhawks to their 1961 Stanley Cup title.
Mikita was awed by the occasion.
"When Mr. (John) McDonough proposed the idea for the statues had to sit down, I was overwhelmed," said Mikita. "That this immigrant from Slovakia would be honored for his hard work with this incredible statue is something. I never thought it would happen."
Among those Mikita dedicated the evening to were his birth parents "who gave me life," and his adopted parents "who gave me freedom."
Hull and Mikita were a part of some of the Blackhawks' great vintage years. Now they'll always be part of the landscape.
"Those guys should be really proud that every time someone comes into the building they can visit Stan and Bobby and the memories," coach Joel Quenneville said. "They're great ambassadors for our team."