NBC Sports analyst Alan May was on Elliot in the Morning today. He talked about how meaningless round-robin play is, why the Caps are playing so poorly, and why he believes in Braden Holtby.
But you’re not here for that. You’re here to hear Alan admit to diving.
After a thoughtful discussion of the Caps’ struggles through round-robin play, host Elliot Segal segues to the topic of Jake Muzzin’s injury. At 17:45 this exchange occurs:
Segal: When you were playing, did you ever leave the ice on a stretcher?
May: One time, yeah. One time I did. I don’t want to admit it, but I took a dive in a playoff game.
Segal: Are you serious?
May: There was a guy that suckerpunched me from behind in a playoff game, and it was just another way to get back at a team that was cheap,. A coach was caught on camera sending his player out. . . There’s gamesmanship involved. It was a playoff game. A guy gets suspended for about thirty games, the next game I play and our team decimates his team to close out a playoff series. So unfortunately I did do something like that.
That unfortunate something happened on April 20, 1997. It was the first round of the IHL’s playoffs, and May’s Houston Aeros took on the Las Vegas Thunder, for whom Sasha “the Basha” Lakovic played.
If Lakovic’s name sound familiar, that’s because he was the guy who assaulted a fan for dumping a beer on Flames assistant coach Guy Lapointe.
Lakovic was suspended two games for that incident, and within a few months he had enforcer duty with the IHL’s Las Vegas Thunder.
The Thunder dropped their first game of a best-of-five series to the Aeros on the road, and they were not happy about it. Trailing again late in the third period of game two, Thunder head coach Chris McSorley (Marty’s brother) sent Lakovic to line up against May. After the faceoff, Lakovic took May down to the ice, then punched him in the back of the head.
Trainers and coaches came to May’s aid with a stretcher, but it was not used. May’s teammates carried him off the ice and placed him on a gurney.
The Aeros won the game and shut out the Thunder in Game Three to sweep the series.
Lakovic was assessed a match penalty. Over the next two seasons he played 18 games for the New Jersey Devils, recording zero goals and 64 penalty minutes. After he retired, Lakovic spoke candidly how his many concussions affected him, criticizing the NHL’s denial of their consequences. In 2017, Sasha Lakovic died of brain cancer. He was 45.
Here’s full video of the incident.
Later in the EITM interview, May calls quantitative hockey analysts “pencil-necks”, which reminds me that — though we all may wish to suckerpunch Alan from time to time — we do not. Because there are rules.
Anyway, Alan is a diver and we love him.
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