Mickey Roach was an early example of an American-born player who made it to the NHL. He did so on the strength of his excellent offensive skills and ability to manoeuvre his tiny little frame with great speed and agility.
He turned pro with the Boston Arenas of the AAHA in 1914-15. He completed his first campaign by becoming the league's scoring champ. He was less successful, however, at lighting the scoreboard over the three seasons that followed. He left the Arenas after two seasons to put in a year with the New York Crescents and the New York Wanderers of the USAHA.
It wasn't until Roach came to Canada to skate for the Hamilton Tigers of the OHA Seniors that his stick began to heat up again. He finished the 1918-1919 season as the league's top scorer.
The following year, the speedy little centreman joined the Toronto St. Pats of the NHL. Over the next seven years, Roach performed as a steady scorer, especially for the Hamilton Tigers who had joined the NHL by 1920. In 1922-23, in a Tigers' sweater, he put in his personal-best campaign, garnering 25 points in 23 games.
In 1925-26, Roach made the transfer with the Tigers to New York as the franchise was sold. The team's new incarnation was as the New York Americans. The veteran centreman played two more seasons with the Amerks before heading to the minors in 1927.
From then on, he skated in the Can-Pro League and the IAHL on behalf of the Niagara Falls Cataracts, the Windsor Bulldogs and the Buffalo Bisons. He retired from on-ice duty in 1930-31 to coach the Bisons.