Brad May didn't get through 18 National Hockey League seasons and 1,041 regular-season games by taking many nights off.
He'll take the same approach again this season in his new hockey venture with CBC Sports as its American Hockey League analyst.
"Mediocrity, for me, is not an option. I want to jump in with two feet and I want to become the best I possibly can be," May, who will also work as co-host for Hockey Night In Canada Radio and Online, said on the phone from his Toronto home.
"I'm not just passing time. I'm seriously going to work at it and become very good at it. That's my goal."
While the 38-year-old May has yet to file his retirement papers with the NHL, the veteran enforcer revealed his playing days are over.
The Toronto native is absent from his first NHL training camp in nearly 20 years and couldn't be happier to spend time with his wife Brigette and two children, aged 11 and 14.
"It's nice to be home with my children. My wife hasn't had me here full time for, forever, actually," said May. "I'm excited about the chance to do homework with my kids."
Waived by Wings
The Detroit Red Wings were forced to clear $1 million US in salary cap space in February and decided to waive May, who went on to play 17 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the only AHL stint of his professional career, before returning to Detroit for Rounds 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"I'm excited about what's next for me … and excited about the opportunity to work for Hockey Night," he said. "My goal is to make it to the National Hockey League again and do Saturday nights [on air]. That would be my ultimate goal."
First, May will get his feet wet with CBC Sports' 10-game slate of AHL contests in the 2010-11 season, starting Oct. 17 when the Toronto Marlies host the Binghamton Senators at 1 p.m. ET.
May certainly isn't entering his new job cold, having gained broadcast experience with cable sports network TSN, the NHL Network and Sportsnet.
The 2007 Stanley Cup champion also spent years picking the brains of numerous media types, and this summer, watched a variety of sports and games to learn his new craft.
"I never really thought it would be that difficult," said May, who still owns a house in Scottsdale, Ariz., from his days playing for the Phoenix Coyotes from 2000 to 2003. "I want to be good at it, so I want to do the work and preparation.
"I almost have to look at the game as a coach, where I'm following the trend of a game, different formations, styles that teams play and be knowledgeable to know how to verbalize that."
Those at HNIC believe May's long playing career in the NHL and his AHL experience will allow the one-time Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks left-winger to bring a strong perspective to its coverage.
'I'd love to be that guy to show the hockey world how great a destination the American Hockey League is.'— Brad May, CBC's American Hockey League analyst
"He will also be a welcomed addition to HNIC Radio and Hockey Night in Canada Online as he gets a chance to express his opinions on the daily stories that surround the game of hockey," CBC Sports' director of production, Joel Darling, told CBCSports.ca.
For those CBC viewers not familiar with the AHL, May said they would recognize some players, either those with limited NHL experience or others attempting to reinvent themselves.
"These guys are playing with one goal in mind and that's to make the National Hockey League," May said. "I'd love to be that guy to show the hockey world how great a destination the American Hockey League is.
"Plus, I could tell everybody about the [five] highlight-reel goals I scored," he added, laughing.
"My challenge is having the ability to get in and get out of a conversation quickly. As my wife would say, I could talk the life out of a house plant. This job is going to be therapeutic for me, I think."