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Babcock to receive honorary degree

by Andrea Nelson / Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will head back to school to receive an honorary law degree from Montreal's McGill University later this month. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Coach Mike Babcock is a doctor on the ice, but soon he’ll be a Doctor of Laws as well.

Babcock will receive an honorary degree from McGill University in Montreal at its convocation ceremonies this month, when he is made a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

"I'm very honored and humbled," said Babcock. "When I left Saskatoon to go to McGill, I wasn't very interested in academia at all, I was just focused on hockey. But it changed my life forever. I'm absolutely thrilled and so pleased to have graduated from McGill and for what it gave me.”

At McGill, Babcock was a two-time all-star defenseman with the university’s hockey team, and served as co-captain and shared team MVP honors in 1986-87. In 146 career games with the Redmen, Babcock recorded 22 goals and 85 assists. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native graduated from McGill in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

Babcock continued his success after graduation, becoming the only coach to join the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Triple Gold Club – winning a Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008; the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010; and the IIHF World Championships in 2004.

With the honorary degree, Babcock becomes only the 11th former McGill athlete to earn an honorary doctorate from the university.

"No question about it that an honorary degree from McGill was more improbable to me than winning a Stanley Cup,” Babcock said. “When I went to McGill, I had no idea of the quality of people I would meet and the quality of institute that I would be attending. And I didn't know it until after I arrived and maybe even until after I left what a great school it was and how it was going to impact my life. So to be honored in this fashion is so humbling and unbelievable."

Babcock will receive his honorary doctorate on Nov. 25, the day after the Red Wings play the Atlantic Division rival Sabres in Buffalo.

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