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Top 10 Blackhawks stories of 2018: Stan Mikita dies at No. 4

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Forever A Blackhawk

Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Each day for the rest of the year, Second City Hockey will countdown the top 10 Blackhawks stories of 2018.

Blackhawks legend and Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita died Aug. 7 after a battle with Lewy Body dementia. He was 78.

Mikita spent his entire 22-season career with the Blackhawks and still holds franchise records for career points, assists and games played. His 541 goals are second in team history to teammate Bobby Hull.

Mikita won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer four times and Hart Trophy as league MVP twice. In 1967 and 1968, he won both trophies and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for gentlemanly play.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961, their first title in 23 seasons with Mikita, Hull and stellar goaltending from Glenn Hall.

Once Mikita’s playing days were over, the Blackhawks honored him by retiring his No. 21 in 1980 — the first jersey retirement in franchise history. In 2011, Chicago unveiled a statue of Mikita alongside his teammate Bobby Hull outside the United Center.

During the NHL’s centennial celebration in 2017, Mikita was named one of the league’s 100 greatest players.

The Blackhawks are honoring Mikita all season long by having his No. 21 painted on the ice behind each net and wearing a No. 21 patch on their sweaters.