As an amateur player, Dave Shand split his course between two typically conflicting paths: university versus Junior A. He started out with the University of Michigan Wolverines in 1973-74 but changed his direction the following year by joining the Peterborough Petes of the OHA. There he put in a season and a half and really made a positive impression on NHL scouts, especially the ones working for Atlanta. When the Amateur Draft of 1976 got underway, the Flames made him their first choice.
Shand made his premiere as a pro with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the AHL. He lasted but nine games with the club before the Flames brought him to Georgia for keeps. Over his four seasons with the club, he performed quite well as an occasional playmaker and stay-at-home defender who fared well on the plus/minus scale.
But in 1980-81, the stable phase of is career came to a close. He was dispatched to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he hung in for most of one season before being demoted to the minors for two years. It wasn't until the Leafs traded the rearguard's rights to the Washington Capitals that Shand got one final kick at the NHL can. In 1983-84, he put in 72 games of robust hockey and sound defensive coverage in his own zone. But the following year saw his big-league demise. He appeared in only 13 games before being demoted to the Binghamton Whalers of the AHL.
In 1985-86, he was invited to play hockey in Europe. Tired of the professional grind in North America, he jumped at the chance to try his hand at international style hockey. In all, he put in four seasons in Klagenfurt, Austria before hanging up his blades for good.