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Detroit – Mike Babcock is back in hockey but not behind the bench.

The former Detroit Red Wings coach has joined the University of Vermont hockey program as a volunteer adviser to the coaching staff.

Babcock will be reunited with head coach Todd Woodcroft, who was Babcock’s video coach for the gold-medal winning Team Canada squad at the 2004 men’s world championships.

Babcock spent 10 seasons as head coach of the Red Wings, winning the Stanley Cup in 2008.

Babcock left for the Toronto Maple Leafs in May 2015, signing an eight-year contract worth $50 million with the Maple Leafs.

This season, Babcock’s fifth in Toronto, he was fired with the team on a 9-10-4 start and in the midst of a six-game losing streak.

After Babcock was fired, there were reports he verbally abused Red Wings and Leafs players in the past. Babcock has yet to publicly comment on the matter.

Babcock is still being paid by the Leafs and there has been little talk of Babcock returning to the NHL. But many analysts believe Babcock could be a contender for the opening in expansion Seattle, which enters the league for the 2021-22 season.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

Twitter @tkulfan

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