Stan Mikita the golf pro.
It's come down to that -- he plans t o spend the summer in that capacity at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in the Chicago suburbs -- for the all-time hockey great who swept the Lady Byng, Hart and Art Rose trophies in 1966-67 and again in '67-68. That and a projected year's vacation from hockey, on top of the enforced idleness through which he has chafed since a chronic back condition shelved him Nov. 30.
Yes, Mikita retired yesterday, after 21 years in the NHL, every minute of them as a Chicago Black Hawk -- a centerman good for a point a game (541 goals, 926 assists for 1,467 points in 1,394 regular-season games; 59-91 -- 150 in 155 Stanley Cup playoff matches).
And a little guy who went from rough, tough -- 154 penalty minutes in the 1964-65 season, plus a playoff leading 53 minutes -- to just 12 and 14 minutes all season long in his Lady Bying campaigns.
That's the trophy recognizing gentlemanly excellent play, and why the about-face for Mikita, who immigrated to Canada from Czechoslovakia as a child? "I found out I couldn't fight," he says.
He aims to return to the game "in some capacity" after next year off. Says his TV color work this season was "like putting earrings on a pig. I'm not comfortable with it yet. I stutter" . . .