The Chicago Blackhawks have been blessed with some of the greatest players to lace up a pair of skates, but arguably the biggest legend of them all is being affected by one of the most insidious diseases imaginable.
Stan Mikita, whose #21 hangs from the United Center rafters and who leads the Blackhawks in points and games played, has been diagnosed with dementia, according to his daughter Jane. Here is the statement that she gave to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Stan has been diagnosed with suspected Lewy body dementia, a progressive disease, and is currently under the care of compassionate and understanding care-givers.”
The disease, which is the second-most common form of dementia, can cause visual hallucinations and can result in rigid muscles, mimicking Parkinson’s disease.
Mikita has been a fixture around the organization ever since Rocky Wirtz took over as owner before the 2007-08 season. Along with President John McDonough, the Wirtz family has welcomed players like Mikita and Bobby Hull back into the fold, and they’ve become ambassadors for the organization and appeared at a slew of events.