SASKATOON, Sask. –
Known around the world for their successes behind the bench in the NHL and
internationally, Mike Babcock and Todd McLellan are joining forces to support hockey in their
home province of Saskatchewan.
Babcock and McLellan, who teamed up in Detroit where they won a Stanley Cup
together in 2008 and who now lead the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton
Oilers, respectively, have been named honorary co-chairs of the
14th annual Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf
, hosted in Saskatoon June 19-20, 2017.
The opportunity to lend their names and influence to supporting their home
province was one the duo was eager to take on.
“We have been lucky to call Saskatchewan home,” said Babcock, who grew up
in Saskatoon where he played for both the Blades and the University of
Saskatchewan Huskies in the early ‘80s. “Great, hard-working family people
who know how to laugh and enjoy the great game of hockey, the province has
provided many great players and coaches over the years. This is due to the
moral fiber and values of the people.”
Half of the proceeds from the 2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf
will support legacy programs and projects in Saskatoon and throughout the
“When I think of Saskatchewan, the features that stand out most are its
residents and their characteristics,” said McLellan, who played junior
hockey with the Saskatoon Blades and got his full-time coaching start with
the North Battleford North Stars. “Pride, determination, and resiliency are
all traits that are embraced and fostered at an early age, and passed from
generation to generation. Players and coaches that develop in the province
are pushed and expected to meet and exceed the standards of those that have
come before them.”
is the only coach to earn membership in the IIHF Triple Gold Club, having
led Canada to gold at the Olympic Winter Games (2010, 2014), World Cup of
Hockey (2016), IIHF World Championship (2004), and IIHF World Junior
Championship (1997). In his second year as head coach of the NHL’s Toronto
Maple Leafs, Babcock has also spent time behind the bench with the Anaheim
Ducks (2002-04) and Detroit Red Wings (2005-15).
is in his second season as head coach of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. His
2015 IIHF World Championship gold medal came 15 years after winning bronze
as an assistant coach at the IIHF World Junior Championship. Before joining
the Oilers, McLellan spent seven seasons (2008-15) as head coach of the San
Jose Sharks, winning the President’s Trophy in 2008-09 and setting the
all-time franchise record for wins, with 311. He got his NHL start as an
assistant coach with Detroit under Babcock.
The two-day event features a star-studded gala, being hosted at TCU Place
on June 19, where Canada’s national teams who have won gold at IIHF and IPC
world championship events throughout the season are celebrated. Four more
events remain on the calendar that qualify – the IIHF Women’s World
Championship in Plymouth, Mich., March 31-April 7; the 2017 IPC World Para
Hockey Championship in Gangneung, South Korea, April 11-20; the 2017 IIHF
U18 World Championship in Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, April
13-23; and the 2017 IIHF World Championship in Paris, France, and Cologne,
Germany, May 5-21. A celebrity golf tournament will follow on June 20 at
The Willows Golf & Country Club.
A cornerstone component of the Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf is
the honouring of that year’s Distinguished Honourees of the
Order of Hockey in Canada
. First introduced in 2012, the Order of Hockey in Canada honours a select
number of individuals annually whose role or service in the game in
recognized as extraordinary in Canada. The
2017 Distinguished Honourees of the Order of Hockey in Canada
include Scotty Bowman, Murray Costello, and Fran Rider.
Team Canada alumnus Blair Davidson is chairing the local steering committee
working with Hockey Canada, the Foundation, and Saskatoon Sports Tourism on
For more information on the Hockey Canada Foundation and the
2017 Hockey Canada Foundation Gala & Golf
, please visit HockeyCanada.ca.