NHL News and Rumors – Today – September 25, 09

Veteran Brad May gets tryout with Wings, but is long shot to stick

Kessel deal opens door for possible Kovalchuk pursuit
Veteran Brad May gets tryout with Wings, but is long shot to stick

Chris McCosky / The Detroit News

Mike Bab***** got his man. Four years too late, perhaps, and maybe he won’t have him for long, but he’s got him nevertheless.

The Red Wings have extended a professional tryout to veteran bruiser Brad May, who skated with the team Thursday and will be in the lineup tonight against the Maple Leafs.

“Yeah I pushed for him a long time ago and I never got him,” Bab***** said. “He used to thank me when we played against him. He’d say, ‘Thanks for trying to get me signed.'”

The odds of May making the club are remote. It is possible he could be signed to a two-way contract and start the season in Grand Rapids.

“I know he provides a physical presence and I don’t feel we have much of that,” Bab***** said. “We’ve had Aaron Downey in the past but we didn’t have any this year.”

May, who will be 38 in November, finished last season with Toronto.

“The phones have been ringing off the hook for years but there were no calls this summer,” said May, an unrestricted free agent. “I am just happy to be on the ice, happy to have an opportunity.”

May has played for six teams in 17 seasons, amassing 2,182 penalty minutes. He has been working out mostly on his own near his home north of Toronto.

“There are so many great young players coming up, you have to vie for your spot every year,” May said. “But I am hopeful. Detroit is an Original Six team, a storied franchise, great players, great organization and it’s my opportunity. I just have to be me and do what I can do. I still feel like I have a lot to offer.”


Kessel deal opens door for possible Kovalchuk pursuit

Joe Haggerty

People often say regarding trade rumors that where there’s smoke, there’s often a roaring fire. If that’s the case, there ought to be plumes of smoke rising from the hockey hotbed of Atlanta this week as Ilya Kovalchuk readies for the walk year of his five-year contract with the Thrashers.

Kovalchuk’s agent Jay Grossman and Atlanta general manager Don Waddell are actively discussing a potential contract extension for the player who is the NHL’s leading scorer since the beginning of the 2001 season, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Russian takes a wait-and-see approach before signing on the dotted line.

If the 26-year-old rugged scoring machine isn’t locked up by the Thrashers, then pay close attention to the Bruins’ interest level throughout the season after they stockpiled draft picks in the Phil Kessel deal. B’s GM Peter Chiarelli now has eight coveted picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts, and he owns five of the first 60 picks in next summer’s well-stocked draft rife with blue-chip talent.

Provided Kovalchuk doesn’t sign an extension tacking on to his current five-year, $32 million deal — with a cap hit of $6.4 million that would be pro-rated by the time of the March trade deadline — the Atlanta forward becomes the big fish available at the deadline.

The cadre of draft picks and collection of young talent the Bruins have compiled over the last two years bestows the Black and Gold with the biggest, baddest fishing rod to haul in that particular prize. It’s a similar situation to that of the Pittsburgh Penguins two years ago, when they hauled in Marian Hossa from the very same Thrashers team en route to a Stanley Cup finals run. Kovalchuk could become this year’s version of Hossa.