January 12, 2009
May day at the ACC
By JODY VANCE, SUN MEDIA
Toronto native Brad May is back in his hometown for the first time since being drafted by Buffalo almost two decades ago, when his journey through five NHL cities began.
Just a pair of games into his tenure with Toronto and already we have seen some vintage May day. Oh yes, he has fought, and won, for his new mates, but the impressive part is how he also knew exactly when to cool things down.
Did you see the game in Montreal? When Mikhail Grabovski was losing it on his former team, May reached from the bench and tapped him with his stick, chirping orders to chill?
All too familiar with how things can get out of hand, May has dealt with his fair share of controversy in the roughness department. However, if you ask him he will tell you stories of his regrets and the lessons earned from hefty past suspensions.
A "what you see is what you get" kind of guy, he is all heart in both good times and bad but best of all this wily veteran can lead effortlessly.
His is a confidence that is not rooted in ego -- rather than "don't you know who I think I am," his mantra is "this is who I am."
Brad May has matured in this league and fits the Brian Burke mould to a tee as proven by the Stanley Cup they share.
After bearing witness personally to how May immediately fit into the culture and contributed to the chemistry in the Vancouver Canucks' room back in 1998, I can tell you with 100% certainty that he will follow that blueprint here in his hometown.
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her column appears Mondays in 24 Hours.