Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Brad May: Do I really have to root for this a$$hole?

As this series shifts to Vancouver, so with it comes the winds of May…Brad May, that is. May is eligible to return to play for Anaheim after serving his three-game suspension for the uncalled-for suckerpunch of Minnesota defenseman and minutes-leader Kim Johnsson.

Now I have been very critical of the NHL’s light punishment in this matter—three games was the shortest sentence available to avoid a Boogaard retaliation—but in the NHL’s defense, it was a punch that hardly anyone saw or had footage of; there just haven't been many good pictures of the actual attack. There was a multi-player scrum going on right in front of the benches, and it wasn’t until the cameras zoomed out again that the injured Johnsson (who did not play again in the series) was noticed lying on the ice. Watching the game, none of the TV replays seemed to be able to locate or isolate the suckerpunch, so the NHL may have been going on testimony rather than on hard evidence.

Well, I’ve found some shots that I think people need to see; most of these shots come from a reader submission on the Minnesota Star Tribune’s Wild blog, and in my mind are among the few pieces of actual evidence of May’s crime. I do not believe that the NHL had evidence like this when making its decision, and I don’t think many hockey fans have seen what actually happened.

Ugly. Gruesome. Horrible. Despicable.

Obviously as a Ducks fan, I have a huge moral dilemma here. As a hockey fan (or even as a human being) this is a tough act to forgive or overlook—to ruthlessly attack and injure a career non-fighter with a concussion history—it goes against every notion of the 'code', and obviously the NHL’s 3-game punishment does not do justice to the crime committed.

But having said that, the fact that May deserves a stiffer punishment does not make him any less available going into G3. I think he is among the Ducks’ top-12 forwards at this point in time, and if he does dress, it’s going to be awfully tough for me not to root for him—I still want the Ducks to win, after all.

So I guess I’d like some input on my inner debate here: the question is not so much “Does Brad May deserve a longer suspension?” because the answer is a pretty easy “Yes.” But rather, now that May has served his insufficient suspension, what next? Should the Ducks dress him? And if so, how do I cheer for him?

No matter what, I refuse to hide the evidence. Everyone really ought to know: Brad May is a gutless puke of a thug. The Ducks may be able to use him towards a cup run, but other than his contributions toward that, I hate him.

Comment away, people. Let’s find a way to get the Brad Mays out of the game.


Anonymous said...

And it's not like May is a first time offender, either. Hell, he's also being sued by Steve Moore for his involvement in the Todd Bertuzzi incident.
Three games was a joke.
Considering the fact that the next season after the attack he wound up playing in Colorado, it wouldn't surprise me to see him in Minnesota next season.

Anonymous said...

I actually posted a video that shows the punch. It is shot at Johnsson's back, but you can see the force that May hits him with.


Unknown said...

I never really much liked May as a Canuck, and I don't get Burke's love affair with the guy.

He doesn't score
He doesn't defend that well
He can hit, yes, but not as frequently as he should
He can fight, but he's not a heavyweight by any stretch

He's pretty useless other than some hitting and thuggish behaviour. Honestly, as lease a guy like Parros provides something tangible.

It didn't help that May was earning a cool $1mil+ a year when Burke signed him. (I can't even remember the total now, but it was obscene)

OK, so you want May. Fine...but why pay so much for so little?

His teammates seems to love him, for what it's worth.

Sean Zandberg said...

Well you are talking about 'evidence.' What if Johnsson did something to anger May into punching him? I'd rather see a lot more footage before making an accusation. Maybe Johnsson sticked him or something like that? All i know is that if Johnsson did something like that, I wouldn't give a rat's f**k about his concussion problems...i'd lay his ass out.
But I don't know EVERYTHING that happened.
Hey, you'll like May against Vancouver. He'd play hard against his former team.

Anonymous said...

Believe me when I say, I feel your pain. I hated having the guy play for the Avs. I didn't like Jim Cummins, but I hated Brad May. Sorry you have to deal with him.

I wish I had a solution to get the Brad Mays out of the league. But every time you see another one come on the scene, he's just "doing his job." It's an attitude problem. The NHL doesn't want fighting, but likes to have $#!+ disturbers of this extreme caliber around, as evidenced by the light sentence. I would be fine with a change in attitude.

Dear Lord Stanley said...

Have to agree with Tapeleg, I hated the fact that the Avs signed May and was overjoyed that he was traded away, even if it took way too long and all we got was Scott Parker.

I think a lot of fans have trouble distinguishing actual enforcers like Ian Laperriere or Donald Brashear and mindless thugs like Boogard and May. Guys who can't play hockey worth a damn and only exist to hurt people.

The easiest way to get guys like May out of the league are to do what he encouraged Bertuzzi to do to Steve Moore. Other than that, I can't think of anything, unfortunately. The GMs don't seem to mind them too much.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Detroit... I came across your blog and I have to say you are dead on with this posting.

You also pretty much nailed the mixed emotions I have watching Todd Bertuzzi play for the Wings. It is tough to cheer for someone you can't stand playing for your team.

I guess it is like the old bit from "Seinfeld", we are really just cheering for the uniforms.

Sean Zandberg said...

"The NHL doesn't want fighting, but likes to have $#!+ disturbers of this extreme caliber around, as evidenced by the light sentence. I would be fine with a change in attitude."

I'd like to see fighting stay in the game. But if it is being eliminated, then guys like May do have to go, I agree.

Other than that, you guys are over reacting I think. Get over the sucker punch already. There are other players on your team(s) that I'm sure have thrown a cheap shot, speared someone, boarded a player, or did something else to injure someone. I don't see you judging them. Or maybe you have just forgotten...

Maybe it's a canadian thing. It seemed that most canucks fans immediately forgave Bertuzzi for his punch on Moore, and cheered him on the whole time.

Those pics don't make me feel disturbed at all. Not until I see what Johnsson did to provoke May (if he did anything.)

Earl, I am pro-goon. I am old-school. I like violence and retribution. My opinions are not going to please any commenters here.

Earl Sleek said...

Oh, for the record, I am not anti-fighting in the least.

I can put up with Boogaard punching out Fedoruk--it sucks, but both guys were willing and capable fighters.

But I can't put up with May punching out Johnsson--he'd never been in an NHL fight, and May for that matter has yet to get in a real NHL fight I can recall for the Ducks. He's an agitator, fine. He's an assailant, not so fine.

There's gotta be a code, and there's gotta be a line. May's crossed it too many damn times.

Sean Zandberg said...

What code? We don't even know exactly what happended out there! What if Johnsson called May's mom a whore? What if he said something to justify a shot in the chops? We don't know that! Obviously, something happened at that meeting between May and NHL authorities in order for a seemingly minimal 3-game suspension to go down. Because, yeah, May was handed a 20-game suspension for slashing Heinze in the face 7 years ago. He is a repeat offender.
I don't feel overly bad for Johnsson for 2 reasons.
1. He could have done something to
May or another Duck earlier snd deserved retribution. We don't know for sure.
2. The fact that he missed the rest of the series is skewed because of the anal doctor's orders for playing with 'concussions' nowadays. It's more of a precautionary thing. I'm sure Johnsson was walking around and laughing soon afterwards. The images only create sensationalism! :) haha, there I said it.

I can remember when Domi sucker punched Ulfie Samuelsson years back. Sure, it was cruel, and Ulfie lay KO'd on the ice. But that piece of shit was kneeing guys for years and dishing out cheapshots himself, and refused to fight. He ended Cam Neeley's career for Christsakes!
That labelled Domi as an assailant, yes. But god dammit it was justified!
Maybe Johnsson did something...
if not, then I am in agreement with you. I just have to think that we don't know the whole story for May to only get 3 games.
That means I am also trusting the NHL's judgement!

Earl Sleek said...

Sure, Zan. There's many things we don't know. But I don't think the Ulf Samuelsson connection is fair; Kim Johnsson taking a punch would be comparable to a Mattias Ohlund or a Scott Niedermayer taking a punch and getting knocked out of the series.

Honestly, these type of incidents don't alarm you? Chris Simon, Jamie McClennan, and Brad May get to be this year's headlines?

Anonymous said...

Johnsson said something to May, and that's worthy of being knocked out? What world do you live in, Zanstorm? Ulf Samuelsson is one side of the coin, a cheapshotter who got what was coming to him--but Kim Johnsson is one of the cleanest players in the entire NHL, a perennial Lady Byng-type of player.

To fight a non-fighter is a lowly act for an NHL enforcer. The only justifications for doing something like this would be in retaliation for egregiously offensive stickwork or for an over-the-top hit that was intended to injure another player. Johnsson has never been that type of player.

International championship hockey sure doesn't suffer any letdowns in intensity or quality without the presence of goons and enforcers. Maybe it is time to limit fighting to designated players in the league--guys can sign fighting agreements with the league when they sign their first contract.....and each team can stock one of these criminals in skates and pads to pound on each other.

Doogie2K said...

Maybe Johnsson sticked him or something like that?

The video TSN showed before Game 5 (when the pre-game scrum broke out) says no. More to the point, his gloves were on, and he has a reputation for not being a thug. I'm failing to see a scenario where that was justified. I'm pro-fighting, and to an extent pro-goon (shit like Hextall flying out of his crease to deck Chelios amuses the hell out of me), but I've got no respect for that. I was actually happy to hear that Boogaard crossed the line at the pre-game and tried to send a message, because that's what you do.

Sean Zandberg said...

"Honestly, these type of incidents don't alarm you? Chris Simon, Jamie McClennan, and Brad May get to be this year's headlines?"

What a alarms me more about that is that the media chooses to hype the shit out of those incidences and makes them the headlines of the year.
My headlines would be Vancouver's suprising success, the Flyer's cellar-dwelling, Crosby's record, etc.

Hey I agree with you guys if Johnsson did nothing at all to deserve that shot. Once again, we didn't see everything on tape. It could have been something that happened 2, 3, 4 periods or even games ago. We don't know exactly. PERHAPS something did happen. I can't see why else May only got 3 games. That's all I'm saying.

"International championship hockey sure doesn't suffer any letdowns in intensity or quality without the presence of goons and enforcers."

Oh yeah, buddy, you and the media are going to get your way. The NHL is going that route already. And the good old rough, tough, and sometimes violent NHL that I have loved my whole life will suffer for it.
Don't be so sensitive! Things happen in the heat of the moment. Guys that fuck up get penalized, end of story. Don't call for their heads on a fucking platter, because to me, that is over reacting.

By the way, May calling out for Steve Moore's head was only bad because he said it to the media and you heard it. Don't think that these guys don't say that shit behind closed doors on a regular basis!

I have an idea. Let's all go out for beers with Brad May and talk to him about it. Let's hear his side of the story. We'll kiss and make up and then go back to enjoying hockey.

Anonymous said...

I guess I should clarify my place a bit (not that anyone will care): Pro-fighting, anti-idiot. Simple as that.

I don't like May because I don't like May, not because of this punch, another punch, things he said once, or his poor play. It's all of that together and more. I hated having him on the Avalanche, and don't think he belongs in the NHL, mostly because he isn't that good of a player. I don't like Sean Avery, but he has been playing better with the Rangers lately. May hasn't.

Zan - The media takes the easy way out, and in a sport that recieves little attention, something like the May punch, McLennan slash and other crap will be all they see. It makes headlines because it's easy. When the NHL becomes a serious draw in America again (which it will), there will be less negative headlines, because they will be pushed out by what the people will want to see, which is real hockey news.

Sleek -
Honestly, these type of incidents don't alarm you? Chris Simon, Jamie McClennan, and Brad May get to be this year's headlines?

You bet they do. While the NHL gets rid of fighting, it seems like the stupid stuff increases.

But I don't reallyy know what type of incident this was. When I first saw the punch, I didn't see what the problem was. It was the angle, what was off screen, all of that. I don't think May should have thrown a punch, probably just grabbed Johnsson and danced a little until things calmed down, but I have to ask the question, what was Johnsson doing skating into that scrum in the first place?

I'm not blaming Johnsson for putting his face into May's reach, but there are sticks and gloves on the ice, a broo-haa-haa going down, and Johnsson skates into the fray? Why? What was that going to serve? Even without recognizing that Brad May is the one between him and a cheap seat for the fight, what was "a career non-fighter with a concussion history" going to do in that situation?

I don't like May, but there could have been a better choice on both players parts.

Anonymous said...

Earl, I agree that it should have been a longer suspension, but I don't think that May meant to knock him out. Here's the video of the incident:


You'll see that they both come together and then May gives him the shot. I'm pretty sure he didn't realize that Johnsson was knocked out when he ragdolled him.

In any event, I don't have to like a player to root for him on my club. I don't have any particular affection for Pronger, either, but I'll cheer for him. I hope Brad May does Brad May things and gets under Vancouver's skin.

Sean Zandberg said...

"but I have to ask the question, what was Johnsson doing skating into that scrum in the first place?"

Good question!

Anonymous said...

Zan - Please tell me I'm not the first to ask. Please tell me that the talking heads, even (shudder) Cherry has asked something similar.

Sean Zandberg said...

I haven't heard!

Oh well. I'm tired of arguing. It's been fun, though!

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's a canadian thing. It seemed that most canucks fans immediately forgave Bertuzzi for his punch on Moore, and cheered him on the whole time.

No, its a hometeam thing. Why do you think San Fransisco is the one city in America that doesn't boo Barry Bonds?

Anonymous said...

I'm a lawyer in Phoenix trying to collect a judgment my client obtained against the "gutless puke of a thug" Brad May when May, drunk, punched my client, a uniformed sheriff's deputy, at a Scottsdale, Arizona nightclub, in 2002.
May is dodging the judgment (only about $30,000), and claims to be a resident of Canada. Does anybody know if he actually lives in Anaheim? Does he still do his golf tournament in Phoenix? Any information on May's "residency" would be most appreciated.
Dan Treon dbt@treonshook.com

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with you? This is part of the game, and has been for, most likely, long before you were watching the sport. In the golden years, would you be critizing Gordie Howe? If you don't like this kind of thing, go watch bantam hockey, or women's hockey, both of which feature the finesse of the game without the rough stuff.
The solution to this isn't suspensions, it's having Minnesota send someone to clean up on Brad May next time they meet. Ultimately, the hit was cheap, but it wasn't an ugly act like we've seen in other venues in the past. Part of the problem is Johnsson skating into a scrum when he had no business playing with the big boys.

Anonymous said...

For heavens sake, fighting is a great part of hockey.

Grow a pair or don't watch.

Earl Sleek said...

I'm pro-fighting. Just anti-sucker-punch.