A long line of fans snaked around the United Center Sunday as they waited to pay their respects to Blackhawks great Stan Mikita.
Mikita died from dementia Tuesday, Aug. 7 at the age of 78.
In the stadium’s atrium, Mikita’s coffin was draped with his sweater and a large arrangement of flowers honoring his number. Longtime fans said they wanted to let Mikita’s family, especially his wife Jill, know that he was loved and adored.
Mikita was with the Blackhawks for 22 years and is the franchise leader in points (1,467) and games played (1,394). A four-time Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL’s leading scorer, the forward was named the Hart Trophy winner for league MVP in the 1966-1967 along with the 1967-1968 seasons. In those same years, Mikita was also named the Lady Byng Trophy winner for sportsmanlike conduct.
A ticket holder since 1959, Carl Miller says he fondly remembers seeing the man on and off the ice.
“He was always a nice guy and when you would talk to him he would talk to anybody just like a regular fan,” Miller said.
Read more at WGN TV.