Saturday, October 22, 2011
Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita statues unveiled
By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- In an emotional and, according to Chicago Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough, long overdue moment, statues of Hawks Hall of Famers Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita were unveiled in a ceremony outside the United Center on Saturday night.
"The only thing I can say is it is likely, without argument, the greatest evening of my life," Hull said after seeing the statue. "To have a bronze (statue) depicting me here where hundreds of thousands of people will walk by and say, 'Yeah I remember him, he can play a little bit,' ... it's going to be something."
Hull is the franchise's all-time leading goal scorer and arguably the best left wing to ever play in the NHL. Mikita played 21 seasons, amassing the most assists and overall points of any Blackhawk.
"It hasn't sunk in, and I don't know if it ever will," Mikita said. "I've never been called beautiful, but I'm going to call myself beautiful tonight."
Hull and Mikita gathered with family, friends, fans and Hawks personnel on the northeast side of the building for the ceremony. Both agreed the statues depicted each other well. Hull is immortalized in his infamous slap-shot stance while Mikita has the puck on his stick.
"I think I wore No. 9," Hull joked as he looked at the statue. "I used to shoot the puck like that and I think it's lit up real nice tonight."
While the statue is an honor, Mikita couldn't quite call it the greatest one of his career.
"I'm not going to say the Stanley Cup was second-greatest," he said. "I won one, and I only won one."
The bronze life-sized statues were sculpted by the Rotblatt/Amrany Fine Art Studio.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.