October 07, 2007

Mitch Babin

Mitch Babin was a late round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 1974. No one expected him to accomplish much in professional hockey. He lived up to that billing.

The 6'2" 195lb center had two strong seasons with the OHL's North Bay Trappers prior to being drafted. He spent his first pro season impressing some with a 73 point campaign with the Denver Spurs of the Central Hockey League.

The following season he moved up to the AHL but struggled. Despite that he did have an 8 game stint with the Blues. He didn't register any statistical accomplishment other than 2 shots on goal and a +/- rating of -2.

By 1976 he was back in the CHL, this time having an okay season with the Kansas City Blues. The following season he had a bad start with the CHL's Salt Lake Golden Eagles and found himself playing in an obscure league in Austria of all places by the end of the season. He retired from pro hockey after that season, eventually moving back to the Ottawa area to become a civil servant.

Though his hockey career was over his hockey highlight didn't come until 1997. Babin was invited to play with the Ottawa Senators Alumni team in a game against a bunch of beer leaguers from Dawson City, Yukon. It was a re-enactment of the 1905 Stanley Cup championship between the Dawson City Nuggets and the Ottawa Silver Seven. The Nuggets team of 1997 traveled to Ottawa in the same fashion as the 1905 team did - traveling by dogsled, boat and train. (The 1997 team cheated by using snowmobiles as well though).

In the 1905 championship, the Silver Seven whipped the travel-weary Klondikers 9-2 in the first game and 23-2 in the last game. They were led by "One Eyed" Frank McGee's 15 goals, 14 of which came in the final game.

The 1997 re-enactment had a similar outcome. The travel-weary beer leaguers were taking on former NHLers and were defeated handily 18-0. Mitch Babin scored the game winning goal at 1:24 of the first period and ended the game with a game high 5 goals. Babin, who was jokingly nicknamed "Two Eyed" Mitch Babin, had the time of his life playing along Laurie Boschman, a NHL veteran of over 1000 games.

"You get a chance to play with Laurie Boschman, well it's like I won the lottery out there. It
seems like every time I turned around he was making that same move and laying a pass right on the tape of my stick. It was a lot of fun."

The second game of the two game re-enactment was a 6-6 draw. This time, however, the Yukoners were given a boost with a line from Queens (University) Golden Gaels women's hockey team and three former pros - Jim Dorey, Rick Smith and Freddie O'Donnell.


Anonymous said...

I saw Mitch Babin play in Denver and he was an awesome player at the time. He was one of the most talented players for Denver Spurs and Kansas City Scouts !

Anonymous said...

Mitch Babin hockey stats speaks for itself, he was a good hockey player!