Dave was born in Dunnville, Ontario, but it was in Peterborough where he first emerged as a serious hockey prospect. He played three years for the legendary Petes, capturing the Memorial Cup in 1979 and representing Canada in the World Junior Championships in 1980. Despite his solid play at the junior level he was never drafted by any NHL team. Instead he was signed as a free agent by the Buffalo Sabres in 1979.
Upon turning professional Dave found himself rounding out his game with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. Although he debuted in the NHL in 1982083 season with 24 games, it wasn't until 1984-85 that it appeared the 6'0" 190 pound defenseman made it to the NHL to stay. He played in 60 contests with the Sabres (plus seeing time in the AHL), scoring his first NHL goal plus 8 assists.
The 1985-86 season was the only season Dave spent exclusively in the NHL. However injuries limited the defender to just 47 games. It proved to be his last genuine opportunity to play with the Sabres. He would spend one more season in the Sabres organization, 1986-86, but aside from 7 NHL games he spent the entire season back down in Rochester. Dave did his best despite the demotion, and found his game by playoff time. He was named as the AHL's playoff MVP in 1987 as the Amerks captured the Calder Cup as AHL champions.
The Philadelphia Flyers selected Dave in the pre-season waiver draft in October 1987. He would appear in just 18 games with the Flyers over the following three seasons, but would emerge as a star with the AHL Hershey Bears. Dave would be named as the best defenseman in the AHL in both 1988 and 1989, and was named to the First All Star team as well. Bears fans were quick to like Dave's play, and Dave was quick to fall in love with the city.
In 1990-91 Dave had an opportunity to return to the NHL on a more regular basis. With the Flyer's struggling and their blue line depleted by injuries and departures, Dave was able to participate in 40 NHL games.
Dave returned to the minors, this time never to return. He continued to play in Hershey until 1993 when he retired from the game he loved.
Dave was able to play in 206 NHL games, scoring 3 goals and 35 points. He became one of the better players in American Hockey League history. This far exceeded almost everyone's expectations for him back when he was an undrafted junior player.