Deadline Detroit’s Paul Harris is a long-time hockey writer, and Harris discusses some of the changes Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has brought to the team, including the hiring of Mike Barwis as the team’s “director of sports science and human performance”:
Barwis, who held a similar job at the University of Michigan from 2007-10 – coming from West Virginia with football coach Rich Rodriguez – said the Red Wings made the change because Yzerman wants to do everything possible to allow each player to be the absolute best they can be.
That might imply that Detroit’s strength and conditioning was subpar under former GM Ken Holland, but Barwis says that’s not the case.
The intent is for the methods of sports science and analytics to add to the traditional way that the Wings and other NHL teams have approached conditioning, injury recovery and maintenance.
“It used to be only players in a weight room with a strength and conditioning coach and a trainer,” Barwis said. “But we’re adding some scientific evaluation tools and a few more people to help them.”
Longtime head athletic trainer Piet Van Zant remains in that position. Mike Kadar, who had been the team’s strength and conditioning coach since 2015, had already left the team before Barwis was hired. Rob Campbell replaces Kadar.