Skip to main content

Dave Shand

The Atlanta Flames made defenseman Dave Shand the eighth overall draft choice in 1978, picking him ahead of the likes of Buddy Cloutier, Brian Sutter and Randy Carlyle.

Shand's hockey career may not be remembered as well as those stars, but Shand had a nice NHL and international career. He played a total of 421 NHL games with the Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals from 1976 through to 1985, scoring 19 goals and 104 points.

When asked to describe his play Shand said "I was a big, tough physical defenseman who could not put the puck in the ocean if I was standing on the beach. Probably a Mike Commodore type."

Shand was a standout defenseman with the Peterborough Petes, though he started his junior career at the University of Michigan. His father was in the military, and when Shand was about to start his junior career, there was much debate about where he would be allowed to play - with Peterborough as planned or with Winnipeg of the WHL where the family was now located. As there was no conclusion in sight Shand opted to go the collegiate route, turning down offers from Harvard and Yale. He chose Michigan because his junior-B teammate Rob Palmer was going there as well.

However, after just one season, Shand dropped out of school and headed to Peterborough.

"Back then, no college players were being drafted by the NHL. My agent told me I would be a high first round pick if I played junior and a third round pick if I stayed in school, so I left," he said.

Shand enjoyed his time in Atlanta and Toronto, even though the differences between the two cities were like night and day. Atlanta, he said, "had great fans. Just not enough of them." In Toronto, on the other hand, "it takes three hours to grocery shop because you have to stop and sign autographs the whole time. It is like living in a fish bowl."

Shand had a lot of fun playing along side a young Scott Stevens when the two arrived in Washington. But Shand's career came to a crashing halt in the 1984-85 season. Shand's sinus bone was obliterated and his face severely cut when he was hit by the puck courtesy of an errant Scott Stevens shot in training camp. Shand would miss most of the season, and never returned to the NHL.

Shand opted to extend his career overseas in Austria, two as a player and two more as a playing coach. He had first been approached about playing in Europe in 1978 and 1979 when he was part of Team Canada's roster at the World Championship.

Shand returned from Austria in 1989 and for two seasons worked as an assistant coach under the legendary Red Berenson at the University of Michigan. His main focus on campus was not on the ice, however. He spent his days in the classroom, completing his undergraduate degree before attending Michigan Law School. It was a tough workload, but Shand, who taught himself German while living in Austria, was an excellent student.

Since graduating in 1994 Shand has found plenty of work as a lawyer in the Detroit area. He also dabbled as a player agent, a University lecturer and a talk show host. Though he never played for the team, he also would play occasionally with the Detroit Red Wings alumni association.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M