Mike Kitchen was a solid defensive defenceman who played his entire 474 game career with same franchise that relocated once. He was an excellent skater who was good at taking the man and was wise enough to leave the puck handling responsibilities to others. Kitchen's younger brother, Bill, also played in the NHL for the Maple Leafs and Canadiens.
Kitchen played three years with the OHA's Toronto Marlboros and was a member of the 1975 Memorial Cup champions. He was chosen 38th overall by the Kansas City Scouts in 1976, one of the last official acts of team before it relocated to Denver, Colorado.
Kitchen debuted in NHL in 1976-77 and was a fixture on the Rockies defence for most of the next six years. He also spent some time with the CHL's Fort Worth Texans. Kitchen remained with franchise when it relocated to New Jersey and played two seasons there. He retired after spending the 1984-85 season with the AHL's Maine Mariners.
Kitchen served as an effective assistant coach with the Newmarket Saints of the AHL before spending nine years in that capacity with the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1989 to 1998. Prior to the 1998-99 season, he was hired as an assistant by the St. Louis Blues and was an important factor in the team's bright outlook at the start of the 2001-02 season.