Wayne Presley played hard. He skated hard. He hit hard. He worked hard.
In 1986-87, his first full season in the NHL, he scored 32 goals and 61 points. All was going well for Wayne until next season. A horrible knee injury cause Presley to miss half of the 1987-88 season and was never able to recover to the level that he had achieved in his first season.
While he was unable to regain his scoring touch, Presley reinvented himself and lengthened his NHL career where most players would have struggled with frustration. Presley became a valuable player as a no-nonsense winger who would break up the opposition with his in-your-face tenacity. He became a good penalty killer in addition to his regular havoc-creating shift.
In 1991 the Hawks traded the fiesty winger to San Jose for a draft choice, but his stay in the Bay was short as he was moved to Buffalo in exchange for Dave Snuggerud after just 47 games with the Sharks. Presley played three strong seasons in Buffalo, always bringing his lunch bucket to the rink. Few worked harder than Presley. He earned everything he ever got from the game of hockey.
Presley played one last season in the NHL in 1995-96 split between the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. But his long list of injuries were starting to catch up with him and he was losing his effectiveness. Presley would continue his pro career by playing the minor leagues after leaving the NHL.
Presley scored 155 goals and 147 assists for 302 points in 684 career games. A true playoff warrior, Presley added 26 goals and 17 assists in 83 playoff games, but never won a Cup.