Maley was drafted by the Montreal Canadians in 1982. A second round draft choice (33rd overall), he played his amateur hockey at the University of Wisconsin, near his hometown of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. He graduated in 1986, joining the Habs during their 1985-86 Stanley Cup-winning season.
The 1988-89 season, his first with the Devils, he helped the Devils reach the 1988 Wales Conference finals, and he received the team's "Unsung Hero" award. The next year, when he scored eight goals and 17 assists in 67 games, Maley's best statistical season.
A big, aggressive player who played both center and left wing, Maley was defensively sound and excelled in the 4th line, crash and bang role. While not a great fighter, he never failed to show up when a teammate needed him. He was highly thought of by his teammates and other players in the league.
Midway through the 1991-92 season, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers for a similar though younger player in Troy Mallette. The expansion San Jose Sharks claimed Maley off waivers from the Oilers earlier in 1992, looking for experience and veteran leadership
He played in 62 games for the Sharks over the next two seasons, notching one goal and six assists. By 1994 Maley was traded to the New York Islanders, with whom he finished his NHL career.
In his career, he finished with 466 NHL games under his belt, scoring 124 points (43 goals, 81 assists), and 1,043 penalty minutes.
Nowadays Maley is living in San Jose where he is the president of the Silver Creek Sportsplex