Former NHL winger Polis dead at 67

Greg Polis, a former NHL left winger and longtime Prince George resident died of cancer early Sunday in Victoria at the age of 67.
Born August 8, 1950, Polis was raised in Dapp, Alta., and in 1970 was the first-round NHL draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, chosen seventh overall, which began a 10-year professional hockey career that resulted in 174 career goals.
During The Citizen's 2013 interview with the longtime Prince George resident, he was happy to talk about being a Penguin, how he was named Rookie of the Year in 1970 and how he was a member of the all-star team during the first three years of his career. He fondly recalled winning a Dodge Charger in '73.
Polis moved to Prince George soon after starting his NHL career and after spending 3 1/2 years in Pittsburgh, moved to St. Louis for the 1973-74 season, then was traded to the New York Rangers. Four years later he went to the Washington Capitals, where he finished his career.
Polis was forced to quit because of knee injuries. He had had six operations during his last three years in the NHL to address issues with ligaments, tendons and cartilage in his right knee.
Polis liked to tell people that he stopped for a cup of coffee in Prince George and decided to stay.
Polis built the Mohawk station in Parkridge Heights and had a trailer court there, then turned to the automobile retail business in the '90s when he started at Barnes Wheaton, now known as the Wood Wheaton Supercentre. Polis retired two years ago at the age of 65 and moved to Victoria.
Always the athlete, Polis discovered a talent for handball in the 80s and competed at a national level. When he retired from handball he made his way onto the fairways to play golf. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing in his spare time.
Polis was very proud to have been invited as a retired Penguin to participate in the ceremonies when the Pittsburgh team played their last game in the Mellon Centre in 2010.
No matter how exciting his adventures were, he always returned to the city he loved.
 "Prince George has always been very good to me," Polis concluded the interview in 2013." I have a lot of close friends here and it's home now. It's got everything I was looking for, good golf courses, lots of country to explore, good fishing. It's just great."
Polis is survived by two daughters, Rebecca and Willow, and a son, Jason. Memorial services are yet to be announced.


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