This summer’s Development camp is like no other for the Detroit Red Wings. Headed up by the team’s development coaches like Jiri Fischer, Shawn Horcoff and others, the group is using cutting edge technology to measure and analyze advanced data on its prospects in the hopes that the information will help further their development.
Collected mostly through the use of tracking devices and software, the data can show a player’s maximum output and their recovery rate. In particular things like heart rate and recovery speed.
While this unique type of physical testing isn’t exactly groundbreaking, the way in which the Red Wings collect information is. “A lot of the testing used to be done off the ice on the treadmill or on the bikes, but if you can’t skate you can’t play hockey,” explains former Wings defenseman Jiri Fischer.
Not only is the data useful for the team’s coaches, but the players themselves can use it as motivation or inspiration. “We actually record everyone’s data so they can see it, but then we give them the NHL average just to show them how well conditioned NHL players really are,” says Shawn Horcoff.
Whether these innovative changes have a long-term effect for the Wings or not remains to be seen, but regardless it’s refreshing to see them looking to the future instead of dipping into the past as is often the case with the franchise.