Chicago Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita will undergo treatment for Stage 1 oral cancer, the team announced Tuesday.
"Stan has been diagnosed with an early base of tongue cancer and the prognosis is excellent," said Richard Borrowdale of Loyola Medical Center, who will be treating Mikita. "He will be treated with external beam radiation therapy."
Mikita, who turned 71 on Friday, played all 1,394 of his regular-season games with the Hawks spanning 22 seasons beginning in the late-1950's until his retirement during the 1979-80 season.
The center's No. 21 was retired by the Hawks in 1980 and Mikita was named an ambassador for the team in 2008. Mikita, who in the summer is scheduled along with teammate Bobby Hull to have a statue erected in his honor outside the United Center, led the NHL in scoring four seasons and was a two-time winner of the Hart Trophy as the league's most valuable player. The Sokolce, Czechoslavkia, native was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1983.