AMHERST, N.S. – 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, 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. “It was nice to go back and see a lot of the guys again. It really helps turn the page.”
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. He was also asked to say a few words at which time he thanked club ownership and fans for making his experiences in Turku memorable.
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. “Turku is a great place. I remember when I got there they hadn’t one in a long time. They would always make the playoffs, but could never win.”
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.
While there, Davis was active in the community. He taught conversational English at a high school and two universities.
He finished his pro career in 1991-92 playing with Essen-West in the German second division.