Like most NHL coaches who grew up in Canada and are working in the U.S., Mike Babcock enjoys the give-and-take with reporters when the Red Wings visit Canadian cities.

After going through a workout with a Detroit trainer that would have left one of his players huffing and puffing, the 48-year-old Saskatoon native held court with reporters on Wednesday.

"I really like their top four D. Most people see Hamhuis and Bieksa as their No. 1 pair, but Edler and Salo, for me, are outstanding players.

"They've got their guys everyone talks about, but Hodgson was a top-10 draft pick, Canadian Hockey player of the year, he's a real hockey player to me.