Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

The Time Stan Mikita Was Hit By A ‘Truck’

Earlier in the season, Gordie Howe was the recipient of a high stick from Stan Mikita...

from Tom DeLisle at DetroitAthletic.com,

... Howe and Mikita finally pulled apart as they slowly made their way to the Wings blue line, badly trailing the play — which was now zooming around the Chicago net. All eyes were on the puck flying around at the other end … including Howe’s, and Mikita’s, the fans’, and — Gordie noted –the referee’s. Number Nine, who had waited patiently for months, seized his opportunity. Slowly putting one glove under his opposite arm, and carefully withdrawing his hand … he cocked his bulging fist, pulling it back about six inches … then proceeded to land a lightning bolt –a quick but exceedingly powerful punch to the prominent and scrawny Adam’s Apple of Mr. Mikita, who was skating at his side.

Down went Stanley.

When play was finally whistled dead in the Chicago end, all eyes returned back up ice to behold the Blackhawk’s young #21 trying — of all strange things — to crawl on his hands and knees towards the Chicago bench. He was having a bad time getting there. In fact, he was barely progressing at all. Crawling? There’s no crawling in hockey. Further in the distance, the nonchalant #9 of the Red Wings was casually heading to the Red Wings bench when he too looked back, and saw poor Stanley in his predicament. Howe joined officials and Mikita’s teammates, skating over to investigate his collapse.

Mikita seemed in shock. Trying to rise, and falling again … he was unable to tell his teammates what had happened to him. He had been skating easily along, and the lights just went out. His legs were wobbly, and his voice didn’t work. The players slowly slid him, bent over, towards the Chicago bench. Ever the good Samaritan, old Gord offered what little consolation he could muster.

“Hey Stan,” Howe said to the bedazzled Blackhawk, who peered back at him with mismatched eyes … “did you get the number of that truck that hit you?”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, NHL Talk, Old School, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: gordie+howe, stan+mikita

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Great read

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 08/31/14 at 09:43 AM ET

bigfrog's avatar

You just didn’t bother Number 9. If you did you paid for it many times.

Posted by bigfrog on 08/31/14 at 01:01 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Probably no accident that Mikita years later transformed into a Lady Byng winner.

The article says this happened between 1960 and 62.  By 1965 Mikita’s PIM dropped from 154 PIM in 70 GP the previous season, to 58 PIM in 69 GP.

That was an era where being a pest meant you payed a price.  A small handful of incidents like the one with Howe certainly were at least part of the incentive.

Posted by Primis on 08/31/14 at 01:48 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com