Alan May is one of the most recognizable faces among Capitals fans, as the former NHLer is a staple on Capitals television broadcasts on NBC Sports Washington, and is not afraid to give straightforward analysis on the team’s play. But before his days in the studio, May was a notorious NHL forward who played parts of eight seasons in the league, four and a half of them in a Caps sweater. In this latest Capitals Alumni Profile, NoVa Caps’ Michael Fleetwood looks back at May’s Capitals career.
The Capitals acquired May on June 17, 1989 from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the Capitals’ fifth-round pick in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft (which the Kings used on Thomas Newman, who never played a game in the NHL). In his first season in the Nation’s Capital (1989-90), May recorded a career-high seven goals, 10 assists, and 17 points in 77 games played, with a minus-1 rating and 339 penalty minutes.
May established himself as a no-nonsense, gritty player who was not afraid to step up for his teammates, which soon made him a fan favorite. His hard-nosed style of play was a factor in the Capitals reaching the conference Semifinals for the very first time in the 1990 Stanley Cup Playoffs. May’s second season with the Capitals was less productive offensively, as he scored just four goals and added six assists for 10 points in 67 games played, with a minus-10 rating and 364 penalty minutes.
May saw a rebound offensively for the Capitals the next season, scoring six times and adding nine assists for a total of 15 points in 75 games played, with a minus-7 rating and 221 penalty minutes. May’s 1992-93 season was another rather productive year offensively (taking into consideration May’s style of play), as he scored six goals and matched his career-high 10 assists to reach 16 points in 83 games played (the first time he played an entire season for the Caps), with a plus-1 rating (the only positive plus/minus rating of his time with the Capitals) and 268 penalty minutes.
The 1993-94 season would prove to be May’s last season in Red, White, and Blue, and he finished his tenure in the District with four goals and seven assists for 11 points in 43 games played before he was traded to the Dallas Stars, along with the Capitals’ seventh-round draft pick in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (later used by the Stars on Jeff Dewar) for defenseman Jim Johnson, who would go on to play 121 games in Washingon. May finished the season scoring just one goal in eight games played for Dallas.
May would play in just 27 games for Dallas in the 1994-95 season before being traded to the Calgary Flames, with whom he would play just seven games before playing three additional seasons in the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) and International Hockey League (IHL), before retiring after the 1998-99 season.
May finished his NHL career having played in 393 games, scoring 31 goals and adding 45 assists for 76 points, with a minus-18 rating and having amassed 1,348 penalty minutes. In 345 games played with the Caps, May scored 27 goals and added 42 assists for 69 points, with a minus-19 rating and 1,189 penalty minutes; May ranks fourth in franchise history in penalty minutes.
May has continued to represent the Caps in alumni events, charity events, and other functions during the season and offseason and remains one of the more popular players in the team’s recent history.
Check out NoVa Caps’ other Capitals Alumni Profiles here.