Olympic medal record
Men's ice hockey
Gold 1980 Lake Placid Team

David "Dave" Silk (born January 1, 1958 in Scituate, Massachusetts) is a retired professional American ice hockey forward who played 249 NHL regular season games for the Boston Bruins, Winnipeg Jets, Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1985.

Amateur career[edit | edit source]

Silk attended Thayer Academy in Braintree, where he scored 85 points in his first season. He then moved to Boston University where he became teammates and life long friends with future Miracle on Ice members Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, and Jack O'Callahan. Silk was a dominating force for the Boston University Terriers hockey team, earning all tournament, athlete of the week, and First- Team-All- New England honors. He won the NCAA Championship in 1978 with Boston University; and he was awarded New England Rookie of the year 1976–1977.

Miracle on Ice[edit | edit source]

Many would believe the most important accomplishment in David Silk’s life was the 1980 Olympics. The 1980 “Miracle on Ice” is known today as one of the biggest upsets in sports history. Team USA was made up of unknown college players. Many believed that they were a huge underdog going into the Olympics. The USA didn’t let any of the negative criticisms stop them from attaining their goals. They worked their way through the games and got to the final four. They were set to play the Soviet Union. Going into this game, many Americans were scared for the team for numerous reasons. Team USA had lost to the Soviet Union in an exhibition game 10–3 that was held at Madison Square garden in New York City just days before this rematch in Lake Placid. The turmoil between the United States and the Soviet Union also added to the stress to the hockey game. Silk said “To us, it was a hockey game; to the rest of the world it was a political statement”. None of these factors phased team USA in any way. Many would say Herb Brooks, who was the head coach of the team, had a huge impact on the team’s accomplishments. According to Silk “he was a master motivator known for impassioned speeches”. Brooks would tape clippings and telegrams on the wall to motivate the team before going out on the ice and playing the Soviets (Carroll). Silk said “of all the telegrams we had, the one I remember came from this woman in Texas, It read, I may not know anything about hockey but I want you guys to go out and kill those Commie Bastards. At that point we began to understand what this game meant to people”. David Silk and team USA played like they never had played before. They left everything they had on the ice of that Olympic Stadium, defeating the Soviets 4–3. “When the final buzzer sounded on that 4–3 victory, many Americans swelled with Pride” Silk said (Carroll). No one imagined that team USA would end up being conquering the Soviet Union hockey team in such a fashion. Two days later the young American team played Finland for the Gold Medal and came from behind as they had done in absolutely every game leading to this Gold medal match. After the unbelievable upset that lead to the gold medal one might ask where would you put such a prized possession? When Silk was asked he said “my gold medal is in a safety box at a local bank and my jersey is around the house somewhere”. Soon after the gold medal game National Hockey League Teams were contacting “anyone wearing a Team USA jersey” (Carroll). The next step in David Silks life was getting the chance to make a childhood dream turn into a reality. Many years after the 1980 Olympic gold medal game Herb Brooks was in a fatal accident. He was leaving a charity golf tournament in his home state of Minnesota (Carroll). Silk said “every player from the 1980 team made it to the funeral. That was a very tough time for everyone”. Brooks had a huge impact on those “young college” hockey players and made them along with many people believe that nothing is impossible.

Professional career[edit | edit source]

Drafted 59th overall by the New York Rangers in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, Silk finally signed a contract with the Rangers on March 3, 1980 only a few days after the Olympic gold medal game. He would spend the next three seasons as a Ranger, playing mostly at right wing and center. Silk realized a childhood dream when he was traded to the Boston Bruins in 1983. He was claimed off waivers by the Detroit Red Wings the following season. After becoming a free agent in '85, Silk signed with the Winnipeg Jets, finished his NHL career, and moved on to Germany for the 1986–87 season.

Post Playing Career[edit | edit source]

Silk retired from hockey in 1991, returning to his alma mater Boston University where he served as the assistant men’s hockey coach for a couple of years.

Silk has been inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, United States Olympic Hall of Fame, Sports Illustrated, Sportsman of the Year, and also inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame (NHL + Amateur).

Awards and Accomplishments[edit | edit source]

  • NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team (1977, 1978)
  • ECAC Second All-Star Team (1978)

References / External Links[edit | edit source]

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