Yzerman apparently is overhauling Wings’ strength-conditioning staff
According to information acquired by Hockey Weekly, the Red Wings have hired Mike Barwis, former U-M football strength and conditioning coach, as its director of sports science and human performance. Barwis also is host of the Discovery Channel series, “American Muscle.”
The revamping of the Red Wings staff continues.
New GM Steve Yzerman, who last month shook up the scouting staff, apparently is making major changes in the Red Wings’ strength and conditioning department.
Without any major announcements, Detroit has hired former University of Michigan football strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis as its director of Sports Science and Human Performance, according to HFBOARDS.com.
Also, according to the USA Hockey website, Livonia native Piet Van Zant – who has been the Red Wings’ head athletic trainer for 12 seasons – is now serving as an athletic trainer with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
In addition, there is a job posting on LinkedIn that reads, “The BARWIS Corporation is looking for interested applicants to fill the position of the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Detroit Red Wings hockey club, an Original Six member of the National Hockey League and 11-time Stanley Cup Champion.”
Mike Kadar is still listed as the Red Wings’ strength and conditioning coach on his LinkedIn page. He has held that position since July 2015.
Hockey Weekly sent an email requesting confirmation of Barwis’ hiring to Red Wings media relations manager Todd Beam and left a phone message for Barwis to no avail.
Barwis was the Wolverines’ strength and conditioning coach from 2007-2010 under head coach Rich Rodriguez before opening his first “Barwis Methods” facility in Plymouth in June 2011. The company now has locations in Canton, Grand Rapids, Port St. Lucie, FL., and South Florida.
Barwis is also senior advisor of sports performance for Major League Baseball’s New York Mets, and he hosts the Discovery Channel series, “American Muscle,” which features his work with professional athletes and people with physical challenges.
Yzerman, who replaced Ken Holland as Detroit’s general manager on April 19, was known for his emphasis on conditioning as a player. He overcame chronic knee issues throughout his career after suffering his first serious knee injury in 1988. He mainly accomplished that by strengthening the muscles around his knee as much as possible.
But after the 2002 season, in which he led the Red Wings to the Stanley Cup, his right knee continued to deteriorate until it reached an acute arthritic condition normally found in geriatric patients.
Yzerman underwent an osteonomy or knee-realignment surgery on the knee and endured a six-hours-a-day rehabilitation regimen in order to return to the ice late in the 2002-03 season for 16 games.
Yzerman has already remade Detroit’s scouting department by replacing former director of amateur scouting Tyler Wright with Kris Draper and letting go chief scout Jeff Finley along with other scouts.