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The time Alan May choked out Dino Ciccarelli

By Dan Steinberg

(By Mark Blinch - Reuters)

Former Caps winger Dino Ciccarelli will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday evening. In honor of the occasion, let me flash back a few weeks to Alan May's appearance on Japers Rink Radio. (Listen here.) The Comcast SportsNet analyst and Ivan Carter provocateur used to live with Ciccarelli on the road, so he dredged up this story for JRR.

"Dino had kids, I didn't have kids when I played, and Dino used to want the television off early in the room all the time," May began. "He'd go up tot the TV and shut it off, or he'd grab the remote control and shut it off. And I couldn't sleep, on the other hand. I was like a two-to-three hour kind of guy. And he'd try to go to sleep at 10, 11 o'clock.

"So one night he does it, and I finally had enough....He grabs the television remote from me, so I went over and grabbed it. And he came over and tried to grab it [back] and I put him in a headlock until he fell asleep. And [then] I watched television. He never took the remote again."

Well. Whether it's true or not, I don't know, but I certainly intend to choke out Eric Prisbell the next time we're paired in a Final Four hotel room.

May, though, was overwhelmingly affectionate when talking about Ciccarelli.

"One thing that should be noted when he goes in the Hall of Fame, he had over 600 goals, but he had more stitches in his face than he had goals," May said. "And I never saw the guy take a game off or miss the next power play because he went in the room to get 20 stitches or 25 stitches or took a puck to the face and could see out of only one eye. The guy was so tiny....I'd look at him sometimes, just a little troll over there on the road, he'd be so banged and bruised....

"Dino didn't miss games. This guy was so tough. He had bumps and bruises, he didn't wear the Kevlar equipment like a lot of guys. He was like a field lacrosse player, he just wore a little bit of equipment. But he played in front of the net like no one else has played the game. It was just amazing how tough he was. He always scored those goals, he loved to be the guy that scored the goal, and he was a great team player. He drove the coaches nuts because he always wanted to be on the ice, but that's the kind of player you want, and he gave his all. I can't remember seeing him dog it, ever....He drove people crazy, and I really love the game that he played. It's too bad that he ever left, because he was such a good player for the Capitals."

By Dan Steinberg  | November 8, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
Categories:  Caps  
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Jason Campbell

Posted by: Barno1 | November 8, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Typo's all over that last sentence, Dan.

Posted by: walker_3000 | November 8, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Typo's all over that last sentence, Dan.

Posted by: walker_3000 | November 8, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Have I just missed it, or has there really been so little notice that long-time Washington Capitals broadcaster Ron Weber was inducted into the media wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame last night. If I hadn't been watching the ceremonies on the NHL Network last night I don't think I would have known.

Posted by: greggwiggins | November 8, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Dino is the man. Congrats on being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was a great player for the Caps. I still believe that the worst trade the Caps ever made was trading Dino to Detroit for Kevin Miller on June 19, 1992.

Posted by: rozey57 | November 8, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

True Ron Weber story: I used to live outside St. Louis when the Caps came to town in 1992. I walked all the way up to the press box to say hi to Ron. He was an absolute jerk - did not even say a proper hi to me. Darren Pang who was then the side-kick, sort of sensed how rude Ron was and he did his best to make me feel better. I was thrilled when Leonsis canned Weber. He does not deserve the Hall or anything like that...a mediocre game caller and a bigger jerk of a human being.

Posted by: Political_Stratgst | November 8, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Oh, so "politicalstrategist" took the time to huff and puff his way up to the top of old St. Louis Arena one night and is still upset that Ron Weber didn't simply drop everything to talk to him? There's much more to this story that needs to be told. As someone who worked with Ron Weber at more than 125 Capitals broadcasts, many of which were on the road, perhaps I can lend a little perspective.

The biggest single reason Ron has made it to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is that he was a perfectionist who prepared for Caps broadcasts in much the same way the players and coaches did. Like them, he took his job very seriously, as someone who grew up listening to Senators' fan in Arlington, Virginia...he did so primarily with the fans in mind. In that pre-Internet time, he wanted the fans to have as much information about their Capitals as possible.

Have you noticed that pro athletes from all sports seldom grant PRE-game interviews? Most of the time, they're not allowed to. There's a reason for that and it's called "focus". Similarly Weber, obsessed with trying to make each radio broadcast as good as it could possibly be, relied upon focus to get himself ready for each and every game.

Especially so in Ron's day, road games were no picnic - he usually didn't have a color man and had to fend for himself. When people approached him in the midst of his game prep in his broadcasting booth before games, he was often curt as he was concentrating on the details of that night's game and simply did not have time to chat then. But when fans came up to Ron at other times, he almost always engaged them, answered questions, signed autographs, etc. Unless of course he had something else to do, like rush out to catch the next flight.

Sure, Weber had his quirks, but he also realized he wasn't as gifted of voice as many of his peers, so he made up for it with his work ethic. Very few stones had gone unturned by the time Weber landed the Caps radio job at almost 40 years of age. Whether he was your cup of tea as an announcer or not, Weber should be admired and respected for the fact that few broadcasters of any sport worked as hard as he did. And he did so with both his family and the fans in mind.

Bravo and congrats to Ron Weber for a job well done.

Posted by: OrrCountry | November 9, 2010 4:37 AM | Report abuse

Congratulations Dino! - a true heart & soul player! He'd be so happy, after buzzing around the crease, & scoring!

Posted by: Hattrik | November 9, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

How come they never bring up Cicarelli's under-aged sexcapade with Scott Stevens, Geoff Courtnall and Neil Sheehy?

Posted by: Alisterio | November 9, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Dino wore out his welcome in DC shortly after the infamous night in Georgetown incident. The greater fallout from that incident was that the Caps elected not to match St Louis' offer on Stevens and let the best defensive defenseman of his generation walk for a bunch of draft picks who never amounted to a fraction of what Stevens did with NJ.

But back to Dino: he had a history of behavior issues everywhere he played. With the benefit of time we now get to focus only on what we want to remember, and conveniently forget that which does not please us.

See also: Dale Hunter longings every time the Caps lose a playoff game.

Posted by: ElGordo9 | November 9, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

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