“I was born in New Brunswick (He has dual citizenship) and have been playing hockey regularly for 50 years,” said the 53-year-old.
Dave grew up aspiring to get to the NHL. He reached the Junior B level in Ontario as a teenager playing first for the Trenton Golden Hawks and then the St. Marys Lincolns. “The Trenton team folded for financial reasons,” recalled Dave. “A friend (Bob Dailey – later played 9 years in the NHL) helped me get a tryout. Just 16, I survived a 100-player tryout for one roster spot and joined St. Marys where I played for three years.”
He reached a crossroad during his 3rd season with St. Marys. “I was drafted by the Kitchener Rangers,” said Dave. “They were an A team and the next level up. However, if I went with them I would lose my amateur status and not be able to play college hockey in the US so I didn’t sign with them.”
Instead, he accepted a full scholarship to Rensselaer (NY). “The chance to continue playing at a high level for four more years was attractive but more important to me was that my education was guaranteed for four years once I agreed to go there.”
He started out majoring in engineering and later switched to financial management. He played hockey all four years for the Red Hawks never missing a game and captained the team his senior year.
“I wanted to continue playing after college but there were limited options in the US,” said Dave. “I hired the same agent Wayne Gretzky had and he got me onto a professional team in Asiago, Italy where I played for a year.”
Dave is a defenseman and grew up in awe of a player six years old than him – Bobby Orr. “He revolutionized the game with his skating ability,” said Dave.
Dave wouldn’t go into detail but after checking his RPI stats, I discovered that he was no stranger to the penalty box – 223 penalty minutes in 116 games at RPI. “In those days you could clear people out from in front of the net,” said Dave with a smile. “It was a way of doing business – you moved people around. I suspect that many of the forwards I played against probably didn’t enjoy standing in front of the net if I was nearby.”
He told me that the best player he ever played against was the 1980 Winter Olympics hero Mike Eruzione of BU. “I played four seasons against him.”
Now in the non-contact phase of his hockey life Dave expects to continue with hockey as long as he’s able. “Most of the guys in the 40+ league I’m part of in Mancester (NH) have backgrounds similar to mine. The camaraderie is great and we tell plenty of stories. Our motto is: the older we get, the better we were.”