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Red Wings coach Mike Babcock’s message at McGill’s Fall Convocation was classic Bab-speak

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock received an honorary doctorate in law at McGill University's Fall Convocation on Monday, and as you might expect, the McGIll Reporter's Neale McDevitt reports that Babcock delivered a...Babcockian message:

Over three years of my undergrad [in Education at McGill] I had a professor who cared for me. I visited him regularly. He was a great man.” Babcock told the audience that filled Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, as he accepted his honorary Doctor of Laws. “When I went to his office to get my final grade he said to me ‘Mike I’m going to give you the highest grade I’ve ever assigned. That means you’ve got potential but… potential is a dirty word unless you do something with it.’

“Life for me is about squeezing every ounce out of yourself, out of your potential. It’s a journey. It takes time,” said the Detroit Red Wings’ head coach “When you embrace what McGill stands for, when you embrace lifelong learning there’s lots of room for growth.

Babcock received his Doctor of Law, honoris causa in the afternoon Convocation ceremony. Calgary philanthropists and McGill benefactors Richard A. Walls and Carolina J. Walls each received a degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa at the morning ceremony.

McDevitt continues, as did Babcock:

“In 1983 when I left Saskatoon to attend McGill University I had no idea how McGill was going to affect the rest of my life. I had no idea,” said Babcock, who will lead Team Canada in its quest to defend its Olympic title at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in Feb. 2014. “The standards of the institution, the commitment and expectations of the professors and the students around you were way different than the ones I had for myself at that time. They pushed themselves and they pushed one another for excellence. It was real simple for me; I either joined in or I’d be left behind.

“The young man who left Saskatoon to come to McGill to play hockey soon found himself a student with high expectations for himself,” continued Babcock. “Believe in yourself. Be strong mentally. Bring it every day.”


Babcock ended his seven-minute address (“As an education student at McGill I learned early that you had to… keep it short to be appreciated”), with some heartfelt words of advice to the Class of 2013.

“Laugh a lot, it’s a great medicine for the soul. Love. Share yourself with others. Live. There’s lots out there – grab onto it,” said Babcock. “Enjoy your family. All the successes you are going to achieve are much better when you have family to share with. Be confident. Push through your momentary self-doubt – your dreams wait for you on the other side.”

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


TreKronor's avatar

Great message - thanks for sharing, Mr. Malik.

Posted by TreKronor on 11/26/13 at 02:14 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Thanks for putting that up!

Posted by gowings from MTL on 11/26/13 at 03:55 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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