In Detroit Land
Wings' development staff adjusts during pandemic
"It's made it actually even more challenging because normally we know exactly what we're used to, what we're getting," said Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development and assistant director of player personnel. "These kids are going to go, they're going to have a local trainer, a local skills coach, a local skating coach. It's very easy to kind of plan out a summer plan for the summer. Even though they're individualized programs, the overall structure is very similar.
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Now, we have a smaller sample of regular-season games to work with and a nearly five-month layoff to take into account, not to mention a 24-team format, a best-of-five play-in round and no true home-ice advantage with crowdless hub cities. The unpredictability factor has been cranked up exponentially. If anyone tells you they know what to expect, they're lying to you.
That being said, we can still do our best to use what we've been given so far and evaluate how these 24 teams might rank in terms of likeliness of eventually being crowned champions. So let's do that and then see what things look like a a week from now.