Blackhawks legend Mikita diagnosed with suspected dementia

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Unfortunate news to pass along regarding the health of Chicago great and Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.

A release from his family, per the Daily Herald:

“The family of Chicago Blackhawks Ambassador and Hall of Fame player Stan Mikita has announced that Stan is facing some serious health issues. Stan has been diagnosed with suspected Lewy Body dementia, a progressive disease and is currently under the care of compassionate and understanding care givers.

“Stan spent his entire 22-year professional career as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks and was a key player on the team that won the Stanley Cup in 1961. He is the franchise’s all-time leading point scorer (1,467) and second in goals (541). A true Chicago sports icon, Stan has always felt that fans are first and foremost.

“The family of Stan Mikita truly appreciates the support he has received over the many years he has played, worked and lived in the Chicago area. They hope the fans will keep him in their thoughts and prayers and respect his privacy during this difficult time.”

According to the Lewy Body Dementia Association website, LBD is an “umbrella term for two related diagnoses, both Parkinson’s disease dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.” (Lewy bodies are abnormal aggregates of protein that develop inside nerve cells.)

Mikita, 74, was the first player to have his number retired by the Blackhawks, and a lifesize bronze statue of his likeness was erected outside the United Center in 2011.