Mike was born in Bowmanville in 1949 and later attended Denis O’Connor High School in Whitby where he had the honour of being named Athlete of the Year in 1965.
In 1968, Mike enrolled at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, ultimately obtaining his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical and Health Education, then he went on to earn a Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Toronto in 1974. Mike holds an Ontario Teachers Certificate as a Permanent Specialist in Physical and Health Education, and has taught at Don Mills Collegiate and Forest Hills Collegiate, and lectured at University of Toronto. He also holds a Level V Canadian Amateur Hockey Association National Coach’s Certificate.
Mike’s career path as a player included: OHA Jr. A and Jr. B in Oshawa (1967-68), collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University (1969-72) and the University of Toronto (1972-73), minor professional hockey with the Roanoke Valley Rebels (1973-74) and OHA Sr. A in Whitby (1974-77).
Mike’s began his coaching career with the Whitby Sr. A team (1974-77), then continued with Forest Hills Collegiate (1975-79), Oshawa Jr. B (1977-79), Peterborough Petes (1979-80), the Canadian National Junior Team (World Junior Championships in Finland 1979-80), Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (1980-83), and the University of Toronto (1983-84).
He then advanced to coach at the National Hockey League level, beginning with the Philadelphia Flyers (1984-88), then moving to the Chicago Blackhawks (1988-92), New York Rangers (where he won the Stanley Cup in 1993-94), St. Louis Blues (1994-96), Vancouver Canucks (1997-99), Boston Bruins (2000-01) and, lastly, Florida Panthers (2001-02). Mike also coached the Team Canada entries at the Canada Cup in 1987 and 1991, and at the World Championships in 1993.
Mike also held the position of General Manager with several teams throughout his non-playing career, including the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.
His numerous hockey successes include several team championships and individual awards, most notably: OHL Jr. A League Champions and Memorial Cup Finalists (Peterborough Petes 1979-80), AHL League and Calder Cup Champions (Rochester Americans 1982-83), Coach of the Year, OUAA and CIAU Champions (University of Toronto 1983-84), NHL Coach of the Year and Stanley Cup Finalists (Philadelphia Flyers 1986-87), Canada Cup Champions (Team Canada 1987 and 1991), NHL Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year (Chicago Blackhawks 1990-91), Stanley Cup Finalists (Chicago Blackhawks 1991-92), and Stanley Cup Champion (New York Rangers 1993-94).