Mike Babcock: From candlelight to Olympic limelight

Mike Babcock, head coach of the Red Wings and Canada's Olympic men's hockey team, has come a long...

Mike Babcock, head coach of the Red Wings and Canada's Olympic men's hockey team, has come a long way from his childhood days in rural Saskatchewan. (Darren Makowichuk/QMI Agency)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:10 PM ET

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. - The town of Leaf Rapids, Sask., was so small there weren’t even street lights.

Think that stopped young Mike Babcock and his buddies from being able to play the game they loved?

Guess again.

One by one, the kids jammed candle after candle into the snowbanks alongside the road, giving them enough illumination to play street hockey “’til God knows ,..” as Babcock now puts it.

Hockey by candlelight. You have to be pretty dedicated to the sport to do that.

Decades later, Mike Babcock has come a long way from those childhood days in rural Saskatchewan.

Now he spends his time in multi-million dollar arenas.

Like the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, where his Detroit Red Wings gleefully celebrated a Stanley Cup triumph in 2008.

Like the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, where Babcock had a gold medal placed around his neck after Sidney Crosby’s golden goal in 2010 gave his Canadian team the Olympic title.


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