Alan May’s face has been photoshopped onto a fictional Mount Rushmore and, Al, I’m sorry, it’s not for superlative play.
Nearly two decades after his professional hockey career ended, May, now an analyst for NBC Sports Washington, remains the most traded player in NHL trade deadline day history.
May was named to TSN’s Deadline Day Mount Rushmore along with Thomas Vanek, Lee Stempniak, and Hockey Hall of Famer Mike Gartner.
“We’re talking about deadline deals, and those guys were talking about suitcases,” TradeCentre host James Duthie said “Now, of course, Mike Sillenger got traded it felt like every year, but these are the Mount Rushmore, the Deadline Day Mount Rushmore. Hall of Famer Mike Gartner traded three times on Deadline Day, Lee Stempniak also traded three times and narrowly missed a fourth by one day. Thomas Vanek recorded a hat trick of trades. And former NHL enforcer Alan May holds the record for most times dealt right at the deadline, four times from the late 1980s through the mid-’90s.”
According to nhltradetracker.com, May was traded five times overall during his illustrious career. He moved at the deadline in 1988, 1989, 1994, and 1995. His 1994 deal took him from DC to Dallas for Jim Johnson.
Screenshot via nhltradetracker.com
“Every year, even after I’d finally made it and was playing full seasons in the NHL that deadline would come, and it would be, ‘Oh no. Oh no…’” May said in a 2014 feature on Sportsnet.
In 1988, May was dealt by the Boston Bruins while playing for their affiliate the AHL Maine Mariners. His head coach there was Mike Milbury.
Weeks earlier, Milbury had told May to “slow it down”, in terms of his success. Ace Bailey, a scout for the Edmonton Oilers, had been following the team. May scored four games in a row and was fighting in every game. The Oilers decided to trade for May for Moe Lemay – a smaller trade that came after Edmonton sent Andy Moog to Boston for Bill Ranford and Geoff Courtnall.
“You mother f*cker, you’ve been traded,” Milbury said, according to May. “You didn’t slow down.”
Screenshot courtesy of TSN
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