Michael William Sleep
Born: March 13, 1955 (Verdun, Québec)
Died: February 4, 2014 (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
Mike Sleep skated in 22 games over two seasons for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the World Hockey Association. The 6-foot, 180-pound forward scored four goals and added two assists for the Roadrunners. He did not appear on the scoresheet in three playoff games.
Sleep showed an adept scoring touch in junior and in minor professional leagues, scoring 23 goals in 69 games for the Tucson Mavericks of the Central Hockey League in 1975-76. He had a 21-goal seasons with the Oklahoma City Blazers the following season. He had his cups of coffee in the WHA in both of those campaigns.
Born in Verdun, Que., he moved to Winnipeg with his family at age 2. He played junior with the St. James Canadians (92 games), the Flin Flon Bombers (11 games), and the New Westminster (B.C.) Bruins (109 games). The right-winger played in the 1975 Memorial Cup final tournament at Kitchener, Ont., scoring a goal against the Toronto Marlboros in a 6-2 round-robin victory. The Bruins then lost the junior championship to the Marlies in the final game.
Sleep scored 28 goals and added 34 assists in his final season of junior with the Bruins.
The NHL’s New York Islanders selected him in the sixth round (No. 101 overall) of the 1975 NHL amateur draft, while the rival WHA Roadrunners took him in the fifth round (No. 68 overall) of the WHA’s draft.
Sleep then played two seasons of senior hockey with the Green Bay (Wisc.) Bobcats and a final season with the Thunder Bay (Ont.) Twins. In 1980, he went to Europe, where he played in Norway for three seasons.
After returning to Canada, he spent 28 years in the banking and financial services industry with Avco (coincidentally, the company that sponsored the WHA’s championship trophy), Guaranty Trust, TD Canada Trust. He retired from TD Waterhouse as a financial planner in 2010.
Sleep died at the hospice at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay. He was 58. He leaves Nowell, his wife of 32 years; a daughter; a son; a brother; and, two sisters.