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May wants to make new start with Avs

9/15/2005

DENVER -- When it comes to hockey villains in Denver, there
are the Red Wings, there is Todd Bertuzzi and running a distant
third, there is Brad May.

The Red Wings play in Detroit. Bertuzzi plays in Vancouver. And
starting this season, May will play in Denver for the Colorado
Avalanche.

May was the Vancouver player who said -- in jest, he claims --
that there should be a bounty put on Avalanche forward Steve Moore,
an act of retribution for a nasty hit Moore had put on Markus
Naslund in the 2004 season that knocked the Canucks' captain out
for three games.

A few days after May's comment, Bertuzzi backed it up. He took a
cheap shot at Moore, slamming him to the ice and breaking his neck.

Moore is still rehabilitating from the injury suffered 18 months
ago. Bertuzzi served a 13-game suspension and was recently
reinstated by the NHL for the start of the upcoming season. May,
meanwhile, was signed as a free agent by the Avalanche over the
summer.

"I played for a lot of years in this league with integrity and
honor,'' said May, who has spent most of his 13 years as an
enforcer for the Sabres, Canucks and Coyotes. "I'm proud to be who
I am. I don't feel bad. But I feel the whole situation is
regrettable.''

May and Bertuzzi are among the defendants in the civil lawsuit
Moore has filed in Denver seeking damages for the injury. Soon, May
will wear an Avalanche uniform on the ice at the Pepsi Center and
it is there that he'll find out whether he will be embraced or
reviled by fans.

Asked about all this Monday, the day the Avalanche reported for
training camp, May stuck by his mantra -- he's a man of honor and he
wants to look toward the future.

"People have been booing me for 15 years,'' he said. "I don't
know if it would be uncomfortable. It would be a different feeling,
there's no question about it, to get that at home. But people have
different opinions. I only have one thing to say if it happens: I
have integrity. I have honor.''

Many in Denver questioned whether the Avalanche had honor when
they signed May. It was viewed as something of a slap in the face
to Moore and to fans with whom the team and the NHL has been trying
to reconnect after a long work stoppage.

It's an opinion general manager Pierre Lacroix disagrees with.

"The slap in the face would have been if we signed the other
guy,'' Lacroix told The Denver Post last month. "His name is not
Todd Bertuzzi. It's Brad May.''

May, who averages 148 penalty minutes a season, claims he made
the comment in jest to a single reporter in Vancouver, a few days
before the game.

The Avalanche, at least publicly, say they've embraced May and
look forward to being his teammate.

"I've said it before, I feel bad for what happened to Steve,''
captain Joe Sakic said. "But Brad's not the one who did it. I'm
sure he feels bad for what happened.''

"He's fitting in great,'' coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's
been well-received by his teammates. I think the fans will like
him.''

May, of course, wants to be liked, especially by his teammates.

During his 10 minutes of interview time Monday, though, he
seemed perfectly happy with himself, regardless of what people
think about him or the role he played in one of the NHL's nastier
episodes.

"I'm happy for who Brad May is,'' he said. "I'm proud of
myself. I'm a great father, a great husband, a great teammate and
I'm excited about helping this team out.''