Chicago Blackhawks legend and Hockey Hall of Fame member Stan Mikita has been diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia, according to a statement from a family spokesperson to 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 statement said. "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."
The Blackhawks also released a statement on Mikita's health to the Sun-Times: "We are aware of the unfortunate health news regarding Blackhawks Ambassador and Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita. We are thinking of Stan and his family at this difficult time and wish him well. Stan's family has asked for privacy and we hope all will respect their wishes."
Mikita, 74, spent all 22 of his NHL seasons with the Blackhawks and is their all-time leader in points (1,467) and games played (1,394), and second in goals (541). He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961 and won the Art Ross Trophy four times in a five-season span between 1964 and 1968. He was a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner and won the Lester Patrick Award for contributions to hockey in the United States in 1976. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
Mikita retired after the 1979-80 season, and he and his family continue to live in the Chicago area.
The Blackhawks unveiled statues of Mikita and longtime teammate Bobby Hull outside United Center in 2011.