Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and general manager Ken Holland had their game faces on Thursday night.
There weren't any hockey sticks or pucks involved, though. They were at Hiller's grocery store in Northville Thursday evening ringing bells to raise money for the Salvation Army. It started out as a friendly competition between the two when they started fundraising about five years ago to see who could raise the most money, Holland said.
It has since become a team effort, literally, in the Detroit area. In Plymouth, players Jonathan Ericsson and Drew Miller were at Kroger on Ann Arbor Rd. And in Troy, players Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm were collecting donations at Hockeytown Authentics.
"I think it's important the guys are out there," said Babcock, in between posing for numerous photos and signing autographs with fans of all ages.
"Those are young guys. It's important they start giving back early in their careers."
Especially in times like this, Babcock said it's important for fans to know the team wants to reciprocate support.
"Tough economic times have hit Detroit and Michigan," Babcock said. "We're happy to have the opportunity to help."
Holland echoed those sentiments.
"We're fortunate that we've got jobs," Holland said. "We love the opportunity to help the Salvation Army in its time of need."
Major John Turner, general secretary for the Salvation Army of Detroit, was pleased so many hockey fans stopped by to talk hockey and make donations.
"It's great to have the Red Wings involved," Turner said. "They bring so much attention each year."