Mikita, Hull to get statues outside UC
January 9, 2011 10:00PM
Updated: May 6, 2011 2:00PM
Michael Jordan is about to have some notable company outside the United Center: Blackhawks legends and Hall of Famers Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull will have life-size bronze statues of their own at 1901 W. Madison by early next season.
‘‘I don’t know how to explain the euphoria,’’ Mikita said. ‘‘It’s just a grand gesture. . . . Now I know how Michael felt out there.’’
The Hawks already have a ‘‘badge of honor’’ statue, which celebrated the team’s 75th anniversary, across the street from the United Center, but these two will be different, specifically honoring two of the best to play the game.
‘‘The greatest tribute I’ll ever have paid to me is when they put me in bronze out there in front of this building,’’ Hull said Sunday.
The exact locations and the descriptions of the statues, which will be sculpted by Rotblatt-Amrany Fine Art Studio, will be shared at a later date.
Mikita is the Hawks’ all-time leader in assists (926), points (1,467) and games played (1,394). Hull ranks first in goals (604). Both of their jersey numbers hang from the United Center rafters.
‘‘When they put Brett Hull in bronze down in St. Louis, I said, ‘Son, this is going to be the greatest tribute you’ll ever have. It will never go away. You’re part of this real estate now,’ ” Hull said. ‘‘Stan and I are going to be part of the real estate here on Madison. . . . When we’re gone and hopefully not forgotten, they’ll remember the era of the Mikitas and the Hulls.’’
The announcement of the statues highlighted a night on which the Hawks celebrated the 50th anniversary of their Stanley Cup-winning 1961 team.
Mikita, Hull, Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, Ab McDonald, Eric Nesterenko, Bill Hay and Wayne Hicks were on hand for the Hawks’ 5-0 victory against the New York Islanders. Each received a replica ring from their championship season.
Hull and Mikita weren’t informed about their UC statues until before the game.
‘‘I want to know where the birds are,’’ Mikita said, joking. ‘‘I’ll tell them Bobby is over there — go get him.’’