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Red Wings join the Salvation Army

Tuesday, 12.16.2008 / 12:38 PM ET / News
By John McGourty
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Red Wings join the Salvation Army
Talent has a lot to do with it, but one of the biggest reasons the Red Wings have been the NHL's most successful team over the past decade is that individuals within the team never stop competing.

They compete against their opponents, of course, and their practices are filled with minor contests between shooters and goalies, lines vs. lines, etc.

And, they compete to see who can raise the most money at the holidays each year for the Salvation Army. It's no surprise that the defending champions are General Manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock. They'll be Red Kettle Bell Ringers again Tuesday afternoon from 3-5 p.m. at Hiller's Market, 425 N. Center Street, Northville, MI.

So, confident of winning are they that three sets of players will know their bosses' haul before they appear at Kroger's Stores elsewhere in the Detroit area this evening. From 5-7 p.m., Kirk Maltby will be seeking donations at Kroger's at 20903 Harper Ave., Harper Woods; Jiri Hudler and Brett Lebda will be at Kroger's at 685 East Maple Road in Birmingham; and Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall will be at Kroger's at 17447 Haggerty Road in Northville.

The team will also host red kettles at home games on Thursday during the San Jose Sharks game and Saturday during the Los Angeles Kings game. They hosted the Salvation Army Monday night during their game against the Colorado Avalanche. Fans attending Red Wings games on those nights have the opportunity to assist the Salvation Army in meeting its Metro Detroit goal of $8.5 million to sustain its annual services.

"This is going to be a fun week for the Red Wings and The Salvation Army," said Holland. "We look forward to hosting Red Kettles at our games, and we're excited to be at locations throughout the area ringing bells on Tuesday. The need to support The Salvation Army is more important than ever, and I hope our fans will join us and help raise crucial funds to support the many great services they offer."
"Last year, Mike Babcock and I rang the bell for 2-3 hours at Hiller's and we had a competition between the players and the coach and GM," Holland said. "Naturally, Mike and I won by having the most money put in the pot on our shift. Two years ago, I went on the mobile truck that gives lunches to the poor.

"The Salvation Army approached us three years ago and while they were thrilled with the exposure we could provide, we were thrilled that we could help out such a wonderful cause. They approached us the next year and it was natural to continue it. We were asked again this year and we think it's been great for our organization and theirs. It's been a wonderful partnership.

"Cindi and I and our son, Greg, helped serve Thanksgiving Day breakfast at the Salvation Army this year," Holland continued. "Cindi and I have been the co-chairs of the annual Salvation Army Dinner. Cindi went this past Friday. I couldn't be there this year. We get about 300-400 people and it's a big fundraiser."

Getting back to the intrasquad fundraising competition, Holland admitted he has a few more resources at his disposal than the players.

"We had people working the phones to get people we know to come and make donations while we're on the beat," Holland said with a giggle. "No way Mike and I wanted to lose to the players."

We can just see Babcock jawboning passersby to contribute.

"Well, Mike turned up the heat a little bit on them," Holland laughed. "He gives them that sideways look, like when the team is not playing well."

No doubt. But it's all in a good cause.

If you're in the Detroit area this week, especially today, get down to a Krogers or Hiller's and help those in need.




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
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9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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