Throughout his lengthy NHL career, playing with seven different teams over the course of nearly twenty years, Brad May has been known as a gritty enforcer. He’s brought in not to score points, but to provide a physical presence on the ice and drop the gloves when necessary. This season, however, Brad May has been nothing but a bust for the Detroit Red Wings.
May has suited up for 37 games this season, only dropping the gloves in eight. He hasn’t been in a physical altercation in over a month. His last fight came on December 28th against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Even in the games May has fought, he is never choosing a time to bout that would benefit his team. Instead, he goes after records by fighting players like Krys Barch of the Dallas stars, who May has battled with twice this season.
The May vs. Barch fight on November 18th is a perfect example. The two talked during warm-ups, and shared a laugh at one point. Later, in the first period, May declined to fight. In the second period, they finally went at it, after Brad May had removed the visor from his helmet. Not a thing happened during the game that lead to this fight, the two just decided to go, for fun.
It becomes very aggravating, especially during the Wings recent struggles, that Brad May offers no high energy playing when he’s on the ice. He doesn’t skate hard and make crushing hits, he doesn’t pick a fight to set the tone for his team and send a message to their opponent, and when he does fight, he does it for the wrong reasons. He’s just a sub-par player getting five minutes of ice time during the games he plays. At best, he is a step behind the Red Wings previous enforcer, Aaron Downey, and that really isn’t saying much.
While the Red Wings really enjoy coasting along without a true enforcer, it would certainly benefit them to sign a player with qualities like Jordin Tootoo by next season. Tootoo is a player that everyone hates, except the Predators and their fans. However, he’s the kind of guy that you would love to have on your team. He works hard every day, makes big hits, creates energy, fights to get his team going and send a message, and gets on the nerves of the opposition. That’s the kind of enforcer the Detroit Red Wings need.