Holland excited about charity game; Babcock worried about injuring himself

TRAVERSE CITY – Wings general manager Ken Holland will be wearing something borrowed and something used Saturday night as he skates in a charity hockey in Traverse City.

“I got my equipment from when I retired in 1985,” Holland said. “Same pads, same helmet and mask and stick. I use (Chris) Osgood’s glove and I use my son’s upper-body protector.”

As for the size of pads, “There’s lots of net.”

Holland and Chris Osgood will split time between the pipes in the charity game, playing with the likes of Mike Babcock, Ken Daniels, Dallas Drake and Mark Howe.

The top names on the other squad include Chris Chelios, Kris Draper, Jiri Fischer, Ken Kal, Kirk Maltby and Mickey Redmond.

“Draper flies around at 100 miles an hour, he’s not far away from playing, so for me it’s going to be all angles and protractors, just stand ’em up and cut ’em down,” Holland said. “I don’t know how to do the butterfly and I’d probably pull a groin if I did do a butterfly.

“One team looks like it’s stacked with Chelios, Maltby, Draper, Fischer,” Holland smiled. “We’re trying to make a major trade today to level the playing field.”

Holland, 57, played nearly his entire eight-year career in the American Hockey League, but did appear in three games with the Wings (1983-84 season) and played one game with the Hartford Whalers (1980-81).

“When it’s as big a part of your life, as it is for me from about eight years old to 28 years of age, certainly hockey is my life, being able to put the equipment on and go on the ice is fun,” Holland continued. “It’s good exercise and it’s fun.”

The last time Holland recalled playing was during the 2005 work stoppage. He played in four-on-four games at Joe Louis Arena.

“People came in and we played them in a game,” Holland recalled. “I played one game (in Traverse City). I don’t remember what year it was. So I’ve had the pads on 4-5-6 times in the last 20 years.”

Babcock, who last played regularly at McGill University, is a bit less sure of how things will go in the game.

“(My excitement level) is at an all-time low,” Babcock said. “You know how sore my hip flexors and groins are? Even after a little glide around the ice? It will not be one of my all-time highlights, probably.”


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