I thought my childhood died a long time ago, but it died all over again yesterday. Greg Polis, my favorite Penguins player when I was a boy, passed away after a brief battle with cancer. He was 67.
Polis, a left wing, was the Penguins’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in the 1970 NHL draft. He represented the Penguins three times in the NHL All-Star Game, winning the game’s MVP (and a car) in 1973 when he tallied two goals at New York’s Madison Square Garden. He was the first Penguin to score 30 goals, netting exactly that number in 1971-72.
I had a No. 22 jersey, a poster, a game-used stick, the whole fanboy schmear. (That’s OK when you’re a kid.) I posted signs at the Civic (later Mellon) Arena supporting Polis. That led to meeting Greg and his wife, Llewelyn. I reconnected with Greg in 2010 when he returned for the last regular-season game at Mellon Arena. That was such a treat for me. He was a good player and a good man.
He also played for St. Louis, the New York Rangers and Washington. But Polis always thought of himself as a Penguin.
Greg Polis, RIP.
The Pittsburgh Penguins organization is deeply saddened by the passing of former winger Greg Polis. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 19, 2018
Polis, a three-time NHL All-Star with the Penguins, was named the MVP of the All-Star Game in 1973. pic.twitter.com/kkLuyXYXak