Located on 19 Steve Yzerman Dr. Detroit, Michigan, is a building that is sacred to the City of Detroit. It looks across the Detroit River towards Canada. However this isn’t just any old building, it is the Joe Louis Arena. The Joe has seen history made night in and night out. The Red Wings have made an appearance in every NHL playoff since 1990.
On March 13, students were no longer entering the arena as fans cheering on one of the greatest teams in the league, but we were there for business. Students entered the building through a private door on the side of the arena which led to the Olympia Club. Throughout the day students participated in multiple press conferences, a tour of the press boxes, and watched a live Red Wings practice.
The level of intensity at practice was unreal, players hustled and played with passion every minute. Many players feel that being able to play for the Detroit Red Wings is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you have to take advantage of the moment.
“It’s a surreal experience to play for this team,” said Red Wings’ Centerman Luke Glendening. The Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has been with the team since 2005, and the team won the Stanley Cup in 2008.
“Everyone thinks stars are based on talent. Stars are based on heart and soul,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. While Mike Babcock has been the coach for the Red Wings he has managed the second highest winning percentage (.654) of any Red Wings coach who has coached more than 700 games. After March 13, we realized why he’s had so much success, Babcock has a passion for the game that rubs off on the people around him.
“Character to me is a huge part of success, and its something you have to develop and set a standard,” said Babcock. Babcock did a great job giving advice about how to succeed at being a journalist even though he is a professional coach. During the interview he was amazed by how professional a room of high schoolers could act.
The level of question given to the different press conferences were very professional and often stumped the panel . Many of the answers in return were centered around life and how to succeed. Play-by-play radio broadcaster Ken Kal said it best, “There are going to be a lot of bumpy roads, a lot of forks in the road, and you just have to hope that you chose the right paths.”
In sports, athletes and journalist don’t have the friendliest history. Many athletes feel journalist invade privacy and don’t ask appropriate questions. Student journalist were given great tips on how to handle and treat interviews with athletes after games. “Just be respectful and you’ll get the respect back,” said Glendening.
The day was a great experience for young student journalist. It showed the fast paced lifestyle of a journalist but also was enjoyable for diehard Red Wings.