Tag: philanthropy

Mike Babcock

Mike Babcock hates the Red Wings’ schedule


You can’t blame Mike Babcock for being displeased with Detroit’s opening schedule. After racing out to a perfect 4-0 start — their first since 1997-98 — the Wings have been forced to sit and wait for game number five.

Five days, to be exact. The Wings last played on Saturday, a 3-2 win over Minnesota. They don’t play again until Friday, a home game versus Columbus.

There’s no specific reason why Detroit’s schedule has such a huge gap. The circus isn’t in town, Joe Louis isn’t under renovation and there’s no notable dog and/or pony show rolling through Detroit. The long break is just one of those weird scheduling anomalies. They happen. That doesn’t make it easier for Babcock to handle, mind you.

“Is it unbelievable or what? It’s painful,” Babcock told MLive.com. “It’s painful for the players and painful for me, and they’re probably sick of me and I don’t like watching them practice, either.

“We’d like to play games, that’s just the way it is. It is what it is. We got to be ready and we’re going to have a tiger by the tail [the Blue Jackets are 0-5-1].”

Thankfully, Babcock’s players found several amusing ways to keep themselves busy:

— Nicklas Lidstrom and Valtteri Filppula made pizzas at Little Caesars.

— Jimmy Howard and Johan Franzen did oil changes at a Dodge dealership.

— Ian White, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton bagged groceries at Kroeger.

— Darren Helm and Ty Conklin greeted customers at Meijer’s.

— Tomas Holmstrom, Drew Miller and Fabian Brunnstrom greeted employees at Blue Cross. (Holmstrom inquired about extra coverage for his back.)

All that philanthropic work is good for the soul and probably helps in the karma department too. So it’s fair to suggest Detroit will be flying high on Friday, which is the last thing Columbus needs to hear right now.

Max Pacioretty gives back during his comeback

Max Pacioretty

Max Pacioretty gave us one of the most memorable moments of the 2010-11 season—even if he doesn’t remember it. It’s been a while since Zdeno Chara plastered Pacioretty’s face into the stanchion between the benches in March of last season. In the offseason, the league installed curved glass in the bench arena in direction response to the dangerous play that left Pacioretty with a severe concussion and neck fracture. The incident is over, Pacioretty’s back on the ice, and the images fade. But that doesn’t mean the story is over.

Since he’s made the comeback, Pacioretty has been sure to stay in contact with the Montreal General hospital that treated him last March. He’s reaching full recovery, but he’s looking to give back to the facility that gave him care as he fought back to health. He’s set up a foundation to help the hospital acquire an MRI machine to help better diagnose and treat concussions. It’s something that will help Quebec as a whole—not just professional athletes.

It’s not the first time that a Montreal Canadiens player has given back to the hospital. When Saku Koivu was the captain of the Habs, he had a public battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He also was treated at Montreal General; and he also gave back to the facility after receiving his care.

Pacioretty is following suit. From the Montreal Gazette:

“To me, Max is doing for concussions what Saku did for lymphoma,” [Canadiens chief surgeon David] Mulder said. “If it wasn’t for Saku engaging the community, we never would have gotten the scanner. It helped not only him, but the entire Quebec community.

“He almost provoked government and other agencies into funding this. Now, it’s essential equipment for all kinds of cancer.”

On the ice, Pacioretty is looking to get back to the form that made him one of the more promising players on the Habs roster. In the first four games this season, Pacioretty has netted a pair of goals and 4 points (both tied for the team lead). The 2007 first round pick played a single year at the University of Michigan and earned CCHA Rookie of the Year honors in 2008. Now that he’s recovered, he’s showing signs that he can be the type of player that the Montreal Canadians hoped he’d be when they signed him to a 2-year, $3.25 million contract extension. They think he’ll be a good one.

Apparently, he’s a good one off the ice as well.