Un­ex­pected hon­our

For­mer Amherst Ramblers star, NHLer in­vited to Fin­land for in­duc­tion cer­e­mony

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­[email protected]­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

Even though he was a pro­lific scorer at al­most ev­ery level he played, Mac Davis re­mains very mod­est about his pro­fes­sional hockey ca­reer.

Davis, who was born in Lock­e­port but grew up in Tid­nish and has an Amherst con­nec­tion, was re­cently hon­oured by his for­mer team in Fin­land with in­duc­tion into the TPS Turku hall of fame.

“It was very nice, I wasn’t ex­pect­ing that at all,” said the 62-year-old Davis who lives in Grand-Bar­ra­chois, N.B. and works as a med­i­cal sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, all the play­ers on TPS Turku wore Davis’ Num­ber 17 jersey in the warmup and he was asked to drop the cer­e­mo­nial puck prior to the game.

An in­di­ca­tion of the im­pact he had on the team is shown in the restau­rant in the arena, Mal’s Cor­ner, that’s named af­ter him.

“It was a pretty emo­tional night, I was hav­ing a hard time keep­ing it to­gether,” Davis said. “It was re­ally hum­bling to see the ex­tent they went to rec­og­nize me. They treated me like a king. The own­ers did it right.”

Davis played two sea­sons with the Amherst Ramblers as a 17 and 18-year-old in the old Metro Val­ley Ju­nior Hockey League, amass­ing 148 points in 64 games, be­fore mov­ing on to Saint Mary’s Uni­ver­sity, where in 60 games he had 75 points with the Huskies.

Af­ter eight years of pro hockey, that in­cluded stints with the Detroit Red Wings and Buf­falo Sabres of the NHL and Adiron­dack and Rochester of the Amer­i­can Hockey League (where he won two Calder Cup cham­pi­onships and was MVP dur­ing the 1983-84 hockey sea­son), Davis ac­cepted an of­fer from for­mer team­mate and friend Hannu Virta to go to Fin­land.

“My last year in Buf­falo I didn’t play in many games be­cause of in­jury and at the end of the sea­son I thought that maybe I’d had enough but then this op­por­tu­nity came for­ward to go to Fin­land. It was a great place to play and look­ing back it was prob­a­bly the best de­ci­sion I could’ve made,” Davis said. “When I went there I was one of the first for­eign play­ers they’d had in a while. As a Cana­dian player all eyes were on you and the style you played, the Cana­dian style, with tak­ing the body. It was a lit­tle hard to ad­just at first.”

While the TPS squad was re­build­ing when Davis first ar­rived, he would play a piv­otal role in a trio of league cham­pi­onships in 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1990-91 that would earn him the re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion of Turku fans.

“It was nice to win, and I know I scored a lot of goals there, but I think the hall of fame was more about what I did in the com­mu­nity,” he said, in­clud­ing teach­ing con­ver­sa­tional English at a high school and two uni­ver­si­ties.

In five sea­sons in Turku, Davis – who is a mem­ber of the Nova Sco­tia Sport Hall of Fame, Saint Mary’s Uni­ver­sity Hall of Fame and the Rochester Amer­i­cans’ Hall of Fame – scored 115 goals and 174 points in 184 reg­u­lar sea­son games while adding another 24 points – with 18 goals – in 24 play­off games. He fin­ished his pro ca­reer in 1991-92 play­ing with Essen-West in the Ger­man sec­ond divi­sion.

SUB­MIT­TED

For­mer Tid­nish res­i­dent Mac Davis, who en­joyed a suc­cess­ful pro­fes­sional hockey ca­reer in the NHL, AHL and Europe, was re­cently in­ducted into the TPS Turku Hall of Fame in Fin­land.

SUB­MIT­TED

Mac Davis had a suc­cess­ful five-year ca­reer with TPS Turku in Fin­laNn­dovaeft­merbe play­ing in the NHL with Detroit and Buf­falo and the Amer­i­can Hockey League with Adiron­dack and Rochester.

SUB­MIT­TED

Mac Davis cel­e­brates one of his three Fin­nish elite league cham­pi­onships with his TPS Turku team­mates.

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