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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Babcock's ties with McGill

MONTREAL -- A swatch of Montreal was with the Detroit Red Wings, Tuesday night, as they played the Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Bench boss Mike Babcock donned his McGill University tie -- a crimson red neckpiece -- last night. Babcock was captain and team MVP as a player at the downtown Montreal college -- one of Canada's oldest and the Canadian college with the highest entering GPA. He played for the McGill Redmen from 1983-87.
"Being at McGill University was a great growing experience for me," said Babcock. "It was a phenomenal spot. I came here and 20 and left four years later. It had a world of impact on me. There were good people who helped me out along the way."
After the Red Wings practiced in a suburban facility, Monday, Babcock headed to McGill to watch the Redmen practice at their home, McConnell Arena.
"I went to the McGill bookstore," said Babcock. "It was the first thing I did after we were done practicing. I bought three McGill sweatshirts for my kids. I got tired of them wearing the University of Saskatchewan stuff my wife gets them."
After one year of playing professional hockey in Britain, Babcock's playing days were done. One year after leaving McGill, Babcock was hired as head coach at Red Deer College in Alberta. He spent three seasons there before going to the Western Hockey League, then the American Hockey League and then the Anaheim Ducks.
Babcock wore his McGill tie twice before as Red Wings coach, producing a 2-0-0 with that neckware.
Despite being an NHL coach for the past five seasons, this is just Babcock's second game in Montreal during that span. His only other trip to this city was Oct. 29, 2002, with the Anaheim Ducks.
And the result of that game? A tie.


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