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Brad May is having fun in the AHL

I have to admit I was a bit amused when I heard the Red Wings had sent Brad May down to the AHL. How would a player like May, who hasn’t played in the minors ever, react to going from the glam lifestyle of professional sports to the much less comforting life an AHL player lives?

More importantly, would he ever find his way back to Detroit?

Brad May represents a dying breed in the NHL, players who’s sole purpose was to be an instigator, bodyguard and gladiator while getting 5-10 minutes per game. They would make some big hits, fight a couple of times and generally be used to send a message to the other team.

Yet the NHL is turning into a much more offensive league and the ‘goons’ are on their way out. Teams need players that can score and do more than just chuck fists. The fact that the need for ‘protection’ of the top players has dwindled has played a role as well, as even some of the top scorers in the NHL can lay the wood along the boards themselves.

In the meantime, while May waits for what he hopes is an eventual callup, he’s having fun just playing hockey.

“I definitely want to keep playing and obviously contribute, but with the ultimate goal of getting back to Detroit, no question,” May said. “But, yeah, I’m definitely enjoying myself with these guys. Honestly, it’s fun.”

“You have to have a different mindset, a different role. The whole thing, it’s different,” May said. “However, you can’t forget who you are and what makes you the player you can be.

“But I’ve got to keep working on my legs. Hadn’t played that much, got a little tired in the legs. I’ve got to get in better condition.”

It’s certainly a situation where a player can just focus on the hockey and nothing else. There’s a good reason that teams send players down to the AHL level to get their heads back on straight, as it affords them an opportunity to have fun with the game again.

Sort of like what happens in nearly every sports movie Hollywood as ever made: the team is bad, they learn to have fun again and instantly they’re winning.