DETROIT -- After an impressive showing during his pro try-out, veteran forward Brad May earned a roster spot with the Red Wings on the eve of the team's home opener at Joe Louis Arena.
General manager Ken Holland announced that the Wings had signed May to a one-year contract.
May, 37, was Buffalo’s first-round selection (14th overall) in 1990t. The Toronto native split time with Anaheim and the Maple Leafs last season, compiling one goal, six assists and 89 penalty minutes over 58 games. In 17 NHL seasons, he has 127 goals and 160 assists in 2,182 games.
After Thursday's morning skate, May talked about what the contract signing means at this stage of his career.
“I love the game,” he said. “It’s still fun. Recognizing that it is becoming finite for a guy like me to actually come in good shape late in training camp and be able to prove myself, obviously that’s number one, I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m excited and I can’t wait to get playing.”
Coach Mike Babcock said he wanted to add May’s toughness to the line-up after watching the Wings’ first few games.
“We got the crap ran out of us,” Babcock said. “It was pretty interesting, we had May a couple games in exhibition, and no one got hacked or whacked or touched, and then we don’t have him and we get run. You get tired of watching that.
“I think our guys do a real good job of competing hard, but we don’t have a team that twists off helmets at stoppages. You start seeing that all the time, it’s just nice to have somebody to look after that stuff.”
Babcock wasn’t sure if May will skate tonight against Chicago; some paperwork still needs to be filed before he can make his Wings’ debut. But May said that when he can take the ice, he plans on bringing energy to the line-up.
“I’ve had this experience, I think this may be my eighth time to a new locker room and new team,” May said. “I’m excited, I think I know what I have to do, and there’s no question that energy is not a problem tonight.”
Even though it’s a new team for him, May said that there are still some familiar faces across the locker room.
“A long, long time ago Kris Draper and I played in the world juniors together, and (Todd) Bertuzzi and I are really good friends,” May said. “Looking around, I know guys from different things, but I’d say that Kris and Todd are the guys I’m most familiar with.”
May said that his journey back to the NHL has been nothing but enjoyable.
“There hasn’t been anything hard about this whole thing,” he said. “Everything has just been fun for me. Obviously the work is hard, but if it was easy, you wouldn’t call it hard work right?”