Mike Polich was a hard-working, smallish forward who played at the University of Minnesota from 1971 to 1975. But despite making the WCHA all-star team and the NCAA West first all-American team in 1975, he was never drafted by the NHL.
Instead, Polich completed his schooling and then signed as a free agent with the Montreal Canadiens. He got in a total of six games with the Habs while spending most of the three seasons that followed with the Montreal Voyageurs of the AHL.
His career break came when he signed as a free agent with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978. In his home state, Polich finally saw regular NHL duty as a defensive specialist and penalty killer. Known as "The Shadow" he spent his final three years in the big leagues glued to the arms and shoulders of the NHL's elite players.
In 1979, Polich scored a career-high ten goals and 14 assists and was voted as one of the top five defensive players in the running for the Frank J.Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward.
Polich retired at the age of 29 in 1980-81.