| Where Are They Now?: David
Catching up with the former Shark
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After his hockey
career was over, he was introduced to then State Assemblyman Mike Honda, who
had grandkids who played inline hockey at the old Gremmick hockey rink. Honda
knew of efforts to bring business to the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, so
Maley made the connections that would help launch Rollin Ice at the Fairgrounds
Maley would sign a nine year lease that would send him on a
financial roller coaster ride. In 2005, he was introduced to Kevin Compton, a
Bay Are venture capitalist and member of the Sharks ownership group, and the
two forged a business relationship that would lead to SCS.
nine years experience running his Rollin Ice business, but it was Compton that
evolved his business into a bone fide success by believing in Maley's business
"I would have given anything to be able to play (hockey) for
him, anything," Maley says fondly of Compton. "Knowing him, knowing what he
believes in, I would have gone through a wall for the guy. It's not that I
didn't have owners that I didn't know, and didn't want to play for. It's how he
treats everyone around him and what he believes in that makes you want to be
the best." When I asked him if building a successful business was harder than
playing in the NHL, his response was simple.
"I think it was easier
for me to play hockey, where as in business I took my lumps. In hockey if you
have a bad game, you get to go back on the ice two nights later. In business
it's a different story.
Perhaps it's his simple approach to business
that's made him so successful.
"The team that we put together, the
employees, and what we're doing internally from a customer service perspective,
we don't think of it as the only roller hockey deal in town. "
the things Maley is proudest of is the fact that any kid that wants to play
roller hockey can play roller hockey at his facility. He makes equipment
available to any kid that wants to give the sport a try. At the end of the day,
he has a business to run, but he knows the community around him is what will
make his business successful.
"It's good to have that rink rat mentality when it
comes to running the business, but I've also learned how to grow the business."
|Silver Creek Sportsplex
When he speaks about his business, you can tell this is something that
has become a passion, which is pretty cool, considering the athletic past that
was his previous life.
That previous life as a member of the Sharks
was a short lived adventure, starting in the infancy of the franchise when wins
were few and far between.
"My number one highlight during my stint in
san Jose as a player, was the fans!" Maley says emphatically. "I became a Shark
in January the last year at the Cow Palace. We tied an NHL record for losses in
a row. However, the fans at the Cow Palace were awesome. We could be down by 4
and they cheered all the way to the end of the game!"
His second most
memorable moment as a Shark player had little to do with hockey.
got the chance to meet Michael Jordan via (current Sharks General Manager) Doug
Wilson and his ties to Chicago and him being friends with Doug. I brought it up
to Doug on the bus while we were in town to play the Caps. The Bulls were
playing that night and I asked him if he wanted to go. He said yes and off we
went. Me, Pat Falloon, and Doug. We waited after the game and met Jordan. All
four of us sat in the locker room alone and talked hockey!"
all fun and games and Michael Jordan however. The Sharks were trying to
overcome the disadvantage of being an expansion team, with a roster devoid of
real superstars. Times were tough. I asked Maley what the low point of his
stint in San Jose was.
"The losing streak-it was close to unbearable.
We had meetings on top of meetings."
It's hard to think of Maley losing at anything when
you see how is life has evolved. If he wasn't already busy enough, Maley also
serves as the President of the Sharks Alumni Association.
"We have one
big event a year-the Fantasy Camp. The team brings in former Sharks to
participate and on a year to year basis it has been different players. That's
the only time a year that I get to talk and interact with former players. They
are in town for 3 days and gone."
Part of that role requires him to
keep himself aligned with the greater NHL alumni community which is working to
see that his fellow NHL retirees are prepared for life after hockey.
"There are programs to help players prepare themselves. We as players need to
make sure there are things like mentorships that made available for other
players. We didn't have those types of opportunities, and there are plenty of
players that struggled after leaving hockey."
One thing that the NHL
assisted its alumni with was a broadcast media mentorship program.
"The league setup a program with a mock studio, like ESPN. I was in the first
group that went through that program," Maley boasts. "They brought in John
Davidson and John Buccigross to show how those guys prepare, including the
copious notes that are required for that job."
He's as personable as
they come, so that program seemed tailor made for Maley. So much so, that he
fit right into the Sharks need for an insider to provide insight on hockey
games for both radio and television. Even with his extremely successful
business, he still makes time to appear on Comcast's pre and post game shows
and to provide support during radio broadcasts.
"I love it," he says. "It's fun for me. I don't see that as a job. I
can talk hockey all night long if you let me."
Maley's many careers
all seem to have the same theme. Hard work leads to opportunity, which leads to
success when you persist.
Maley made it to Game 7 of the Conf Finals
in 1988, which was as close to the Cup as he would come after winning it all in
1986. I asked him what he looked back on more fondly. That 20-game run, his
NCAA Championship, or the Cup win in 1986 which consisted of appearance in
three games as a rookie.
"None of the above," he responded. "Winning
the Minnesota State High School Championship!"
After all the things
he's seen as a professional athlete, he's still managed to maintain an
incredible amount of perspective, which is one of the reasons his life seems to
have evolved so perfectly. It hasn't been all wine and roses for Maley, but he
knows what's important. His office is strewn with papers and few reminders of
his life as a hockey player. The only hints you'll find are a book on Scotty
Bowman and his Sharks locker room nameplate affixed to the back of his office
That nameplate is a simple reminder of where he's come from, but
it leads to his present and future. It leads to his current contribution to the
Bay Area landscape.
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