As disappointing as the result on the ice at the United Center may have been on Saturday evening, there was still one big positive to pull from the night’s activities.
Prior to the game, the Blackhawks unveiled the statues of legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita. Having been away from the organization for so long, prior to the regime of Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough, it was a long time coming for the two Hawks greats.
Both were members of the 1961 Stanley Cup champion squad, which was the last time the Hawks had hoisted the Cup up until the 2009-2010 season. Mikita spent his entire career in the Windy City, while Hull spent 15 seasons with the Blackhawks before moving onto Winnipeg (the Coyotes, not the Thrashers), who also has his number retired.
Mikita played over 20 years for the Hawks. He tops the record books for the franchise in games played, points, and assists. Not far behind him, Hull ranks second in games played and points, while leading in goals. Both were two-time Hart Trophy winners over the course of their illustrious careers.
Since Wirtz and McDonough took over, and brought back the tradition that goes along with the Chicago Blackhawks, the two have been a staple at the United Center on a regular basis. They’ve served as the team’s ambassadors and are seen out in public on a regular basis.
Though some questioned the move, given that Hull and Mikita never played at the United Center, only at the old Chicago Stadium, the statues are a well deserved tribute for two of the greatest not only to play for the Blackhawks, but to lace up a pair of skates in the entire NHL.
Rocky Wirtz could not have put it better when he said that the two are not only a part of the history, but a part of the future. Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita will likely continue to hang around the United Center, as the Blackhawks continue to prove that they recognize tradition better than anyone else in the National Hockey League.
The statues will join Michael Jordan outside of the United Center, which is fitting due to the fact that the same group that created the bronze version of Jordan, completed the same for Hull and Mikita.