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Mikita diagnosed with oral cancer

Tuesday, 05.24.2011 / 5:48 PM / News

NHL.com

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Mikita diagnosed with oral cancer
Mikita diagnosed with oral cancer
Hall of Fame center Stan Mikita announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with stage 1 oral cancer.

Mikita, who tallied 541 goals and 926 assists in a career that spanned 21 seasons, was given an "excellent" prognosis after his doctors discovered "an early base of tongue cancer" according to a press release sent out by the Chicago Blackhawks. Doctors expect to treat Mikita using external beam radiation therapy.

Over the course of his career -- all of which was spent with Chicago -- Mikita won consecutive Hart Trophies in 1967 and 1968, four Art Ross Trophies in 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968, and he was a member of Chicago's last Stanley Cup championship team in 1961 before the Blackhawks snapped their 49-year Cup drought last season. At the time of his retirement, his 1,467 points were the third most in NHL history.

A participant in nine NHL All-Star Games, Mikita's number 21 was retired by Chicago in 1980.

In recent years, Mikita has been a widely visible figure in Chicago while officially serving as a goodwill ambassador for the Blackhawks organization.

Mikita celebrated his 71st birthday this past Friday.
Quote of the Day

You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals