Mike Liut took a huge step towards becoming a professional goaltender when he enrolled at Bowling Green University in 1973. It was there that superior coaching and academic development gave him the foundation to turn pro with confidence. After being named twice to the CCHA First All-Star team, Liut turned a few heads at the Central Scouting Bureau. He was selected 56th overall by the St. Louis Blues in 1976.
But Liut opted for the Cincinnati Stingers of the WHA where he took on the Bobby Hulls and Dave Keons of the league for two seasons. When World Hockey melted back to the NHL, the Blues reclaimed Liut's rights.
Liut was outstanding in his debut with St. Louis. His first two seasons saw him pile up 71 victories. In 1980-81, he was voted a runner-up to Wayne Gretzky for the Hart Trophy; he was selected as a First Team All-Star; and, he won the Lester B. Pearson Trophy as the league's MVP as determined by his peers.
In 1985, Liut was traded to the Hartford Whalers where, in his second season, he led the league in shutouts with four. He also posted the league's best goals-against average in 1989-90.
He was traded to the Washington Capitals in 1990, but had difficulty maintaining his workhorse status because of a failing back, an ailment that led to his retirement in 1991-92.
Following his playing career, Liut joined the University of Michigan as an assistant coach in 1995-96 until the end of the 1997-98 season.