Lately I’ve been receiving some emails from a great Habs fan named Jerry who is originally from Montreal but has been living near San Jose for many years and working for a GPS development company there. Imagine, he works for a GPS company that maybe makes the same as the one I have, with the lovely British lady telling me to go left and right while we were on a recent California road trip, and she was a voice which I have great affection for.
For the first time in my life, I enjoyed a lady telling me where to go.
I thought Jerry’s emails were so interesting, I asked and received permission from him to post some of what he said.
“One thing I don’t see mentioned much is about the 1980 draft when the Habs drafted Doug Wickenheiser. I thought Sam Pollock (man, was he ever a genius) was trading to get the 1st pick in 1980 because that was the year Gretzky would have drafted if the WHA didn’t exist. Can you have imagined 99 playing for the Habs? The only huge mistake Pollock made was not giving his job to Scotty Bowman.
During the 1972-1973 season, there was a contest on the Habs Montreal radio broadcast. The question was “how many goals did Jacques Lemaire and Yvan Cournoyer scored during the 1971-1972 season?” I looked at my hockey cards of Cournoyer and Lemaire and sent in the answer. I ended up winning and the prize was 1 week at a hockey school owned by Lemaire and Cournoyer. It was one of the best weeks of my life.
Four years later, I saw an ad in the Montreal newspaper that the hockey school was looking for counselors. I applied and got to work the whole summer at the school and also worked there the next summer. The camp was an overnight camp in which the students came for a week. I worked about 5.5 days a week and got paid $50 a week the 1st summer ($75 a week the next summer).
I still remember the 1st week I worked there and there was a 6 or 7 year kid from Michigan who was in my group. The kid was Jimmy Carson (main guy Edmonton got in the Gretzky trade). One of the benefits of working there was getting some sticks. Cournoyer’s stick is the strangest stick you will ever see. He played with a straight blade but the blade was joined to the shaft at about a 20 degree angle. Do still remember him flying down the right wing and switching to a right hand shot?
The most disappointing thing about working at the school was that the brochure would show almost ever member of the Habs but most would show up for only 1 day the whole summer.
I remember Rick Chartraw showing up one day and he went straight to a bar (he also asked us to join him) after he got paid. I remembered walking in the rink one day and seeing Guy Lafleur holding his baby in his arm. He was by himself and I didn’t bother him. I read in yesterday’s paper that his son (one previously in trouble) got arrested again (how sad).
“You recently wrote about Viktor Tikhonov, the coach. Tikhonov was previously an assistant coach with the Sharks so his son (1st rd pick of the Coyoes in 2008 and plays in the KHL) spent some years in CA. I play in an adult hockey league in San Jose and Tikhonov Jr. comes here in the summer and plays in the adult league. Others known to play in the adult league are Owen Nolan and Jamie Baker (ex-NHLer).
Another thing I forgot to tell you is that David Maley, who played for a few years for the Habs in the 1980s, and has his name on the Stanley Cup for the 1986 win, lives in the San Jose area. About 3 years ago I went to a hockey practice and Maley ran the practice. I was going to talk to him about his time with the Habs but he was too busy. He will sometimes work the Sharks radio broadcast.
I remember you writing about the Expos a couple of times. About 4 years ago, one of my teammates (Roxy Bernstein) in an adult hockey league was the radio broadcast partner of Dave Van Horne on the Florida Marlin games. Van Horne should make it to the Hall of Fame. I remember going to Jarry Park as a kid and sitting in the bleachers for $1.
I am seeing the comments from Quebec politicians criticizing the Habs for lack of French Canadians. Two French Canadian players that the Habs should have gone after are Daniel Biere (after he was put on waivers by the Coyotes) and Marc Savard (after he was a free agent from Atlanta). There is something wrong with the Quebec development system and Quebec Major Junior League. I read there were more kids that were raised in California drafted in the 1st round of the 2010 NHL draft than raised in Quebec.
I wasn’t totally sure when I wrote that Sam Pollock was targeting Gretzky in the 1980 draft so I did a little research. Gretzky’s birthdate is Jan.26, 1961. I looked at the birthdates of players drafted that year and Moe Mantha’s (23rd pick in the draft) birth date is Jan.21, 1961 (pretty close to Wayne’s) so I guess if the WHA didn’t exist that Habs would have drafted the Great One. Hab fans always mention the 3rd pick in the draft, Denis Savard, but I didn’t realize that Paul Coffey was the 6th pick in the draft. Can you have imagined the Big 3 with Coffey?
An interesting thing you may not know about Denis Savard was that he played on a line in junior with 2 guys also named Denis (Cyr and Tremblay) and they were all born on the same date.
Below is what I found David Maley is doing these days. I read previously that his sister lives in California and that may be one of the reasons he moved here. I didn’t realize he won a NCAA championship. If he had won an Olympic gold, he would have been one of the few players to win NCAA, Stanley Cup and Olympic Gold. I believe that Ken Morrow and some other player are the only ones to win all 3.”
David Maley – President, Silver Creek Sportsplex
David Maley is currently the President of Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose. The Sportsplex is a multi-faceted sports, fitness and entertainment destination featuring 240,000 square feet of state-of-the-art facilities and professional expertise. In 1996 Maley founded Rollin’ Ice, the Bay Area’s premier inline hockey facility, which recently moved into the Silver Creek Sportsplex.
In his 12-year NHL career, Maley played for five teams including the San Jose Sharks, and won a Stanley Cup with the Montreal Canadiens. Early in his hockey life, he captained his high school team to the Minnesota State Championship and also won an NCAA Championship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He has been President of the San Jose Sharks Alumni since 2003, playing an integral part in raising funds for the San Jose Sharks Foundation. Maley serves on the board of the Police Activities League (PAL), and recently founded the Dream On Foundation, both of which give youth a chance to participate in sports that they could otherwise not afford.
David has lived in San Jose since 1992. He and his wife Karin have three children, Michaela, Ryan, and Shae.