The Chicago Blackhawks will honor the late Stan Mikita throughout the 2018-19 NHL season with a No. 21 patch on their sweaters and the number painted on the United Center ice behind each goal, the team announced Wednesday.
It’s the first time the Blackhawks will wear a patch on their uniform to honor a member of the organization since the 2007-08 season, when the team worn a “WWW” patch in honor of former owner William Wadsworth “Bill” Wirtz.
Chicago will host a pregame ceremony to honor Mikita prior to its home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 7.
Mikita, who is the franchise all-time scoring leader with 1,467 points, died Aug. 7 at age 78.
Mikita also leads Chicago in games played (1,396) and assists (926) in his 22 seasons as a player. He was an eight-time All-Star, two-time Hart Trophy winner and member of the Hawks’ 1961 Stanley Cup championship team. He also is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s 1983 class and has a bronze statue next to one of teammate Bobby Hull outside the United Center.
His No. 21 was the first number to be retired in franchise history.