Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock cited a need to improve fitness throughout the organization when the team brought back Aaron Downey as a part-time strength and conditioning coach for their minor league affiliate in Grand Rapids.â†µ
Three weeks later, Downey is already making a notable impression.
Last week, Downey brought the Griffins' 25 players to a local yoga studio for an afternoon class. The former Red Wing has practiced yoga for the past 11 years to help prevent the type of hip, back and groin injuries that hockey players tend to suffer during the course of a season.â†µ
Now, he's hoping to pass on that interest in deep stretching to the Wings' minor leaguers.â†µ
"Ten years ago if we would have done this, I think we would have gotten a lot of reactions like, 'I don't know about that,' " Downey said. "But everybody was very accepting. The guys did a great job."â†µ