The Athletic’s Max Bultman offers his observations regarding the Red Wings’ summer development camp this afternoon, and Bultman’s introduction may serve as the best summary of what the summer development camp is about:
“We’re working on a lot of things that are uncomfortable for these guys,” said Detroit’s director of player development Shawn Horcoff. “We’re trying to work on skills that are going to help them in the future, skills they’re going to need to develop in order to play in the NHL, and they’re not there yet. That’s just how it works. They’re kids. And so, if they’re worried about evaluation, they won’t try the necessary things. They’re scared to make mistakes, so to (speak), so we make that very clear.”
That’s the eternal ethos of development camp. Horcoff’s job is to develop the players, and evaluation, by necessity, plays a part in that. But he’s not worried about picking the opening-night lineup in a few months. He won’t have to.
What’s inevitable, though, is that impressions are made over the course of a week. Even if they’re pretty low consequence, they’re there. Steve Yzerman and Jeff Blashill were in a Little Caesars Arena suite Saturday for the annual Red & White game, a reminder that, in just over three months, one or two of the prospects playing in front of this late-June crowd could also be on the ice for the home-opener against Dallas.