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Where Are They Now?: David Maley
Catching up with the former Shark
11/7/10 - By Mike Lee -

I sat down with former Shark David Maley for a one-on-one conversation to catch up on what the former NHLer has been up to since his playing days ended back in 1999. The veteran left winger played in 466 regular season NHL games for five teams over nine seasons. Maley only played in 62 total games for San Jose from 1992 through the 1994 season before being dealt to the New York Islanders, but his mark on the Bay Area landscape is a big one.

The casual San Jose hockey fan may recognize Maley for his occasional stints as both a radio and television analyst. He's a hockey guy after all, and a career as a hockey analyst seems like the perfect fit for a guy who played a game or two in the NHL. The thing is, broadcasting is more of a moonlighting gig for Maley. His day job entails building one of the most impressive private health and recreation facilities in California.

Maley as a 1982 NHL Draft Pick
Before I delve into the business mogul that is David Maley, let me take a step back and try to plug some of the holes that are his past.

His background is a simple one. Wisconsin kid who grew up on a small farm, moves to the hockey hotbed of Edina Minnesota. Picks up hockey at age ten, and evolves his game enough to be taken as the 33rd overall player in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft (2nd round) by the Montreal Canadiens and play college hockey for the University of Wisconsin. As a freshman at Wisconsin, Maley played in 47 games, scoring 17 goals and chipping in a cool 23 assists.

His freshman season at Wisconsin would end with a 6-2 victory over Harvard to win the 1983 NCAA National Championship. That team would feature defensemen Chris Chelios and Bruce Driver, and winger Patrick Flatley.

Maley's Badgers wouldn't qualify for the NCAA Tournament his final three seasons in Madison, but he would cross paths with future Sharks Tony Granato and Gary Suter, who both played as freshman during Maley's sophomore season. NHLers Scott Mellenby, Paul Ranheim and Paul Stanton would also call Maley a teammate at Wisconsin.

Maley currently serves as President of Silver Creek Sportsplex
In four years as a Badger, Maley notched 164 points (65 goals, 99 assists) in 160 games, adding 301 penalty minutes. Right after graduating from Wisconsin, the Canadiens immediately summoned him to Montreal, where he would close out the regular season, playing in 3 regular season games.

His spring break that year would get a little more interesting. He was retained by the Canadiens to participate in their playoff run that culminated with a Stanley Cup Championship. Maley would appear in 7 playoff games, scoring a goal and adding 3 assists.

That goal was a big one. The goaltender?

"Mike Vernon," Maley replied.

And yes, it was pretty cool.

"Game two in Calgary," Maley responded matter-of-factly. "Down in the series 1-0. We were down one in the third period and my goal tied the game and it went in to overtime. Brian Skrudland's game-winning goal in that game ended the shortest overtime in NHL playoff history, at a mere nine seconds."

When I first met Maley, I was immediately struck by his frame. Seventeen years removed from the NHL, he's still a physical presence. Standing 6'2", his hand shake is firm and his physique tells you he takes care of himself. Given his life after hockey, being physically fit still makes sense for the former bruising winger.

What I wasn't expecting was how accommodating Maley would be. He took time out of a busy schedule to meet with me at his gem of a sports facility, the Silver Creek Sportslex (SCS) in South San Jose. After getting a personal tour of the facility, we talked for two hours, covering topics ranging from how hockey has changed since he played, to his role as a Sharks analyst. What's most evident when you talk to Maley, is that he's enjoying life after hockey.

It's an amazing metamorphosis from his days as a rough and tumble hockey player. Maley speaks fondly of his first career, with a respectful tone for the game. It was his meal ticket, but the life of a professional hockey player isn't all that it's cracked up to be. He speaks of the challenges of knowing that on any given night, you may be faced with dropping the gloves with some of the toughest characters in the history of the game. He pauses when mentioning how the careers of some of his peers were ruined by a bare fisted punch that found its mark.

It's a far cry from his current world, which has its own challenges. The enforcers in his present life come in the form of customer expectations.

As the President of SCS, he's responsible for a facility that has woven itself into the fabric of San Jose as a recreational hang out for the athletically inclined. SCS is a 240k square foot facility that houses inline hockey rinks, indoor soccer rinks, a restaurant, pro shop, work out rooms for things like martial arts classes, and a section dedicated to inflatable jump houses for the kids. SCS also shares some of their floor-plan with a full service gym facility, which makes the facility a Mecca for the active Bay Area fitness nut.

Maley's palace is a labor of love that didn't just drop in his lap. In 1993, Maley was evaluating investment opportunities that are often presented to professional athletes. A manufacturer of inline hockey rinks had sent the future business man some marketing material on their product. He was intrigued by the product and the notion of hockey without ice after seeing one of the first inline skate products a few years earlier.

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