Commissioner Bettman Provides Update On Puck-Tracking Technology Rollout


Speaking at the Prime Time Sports and Entertainment Sports Management Conference on Monday morning, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said he is hopeful puck-tracking technology will be in place before the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is the same system that debuted at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game 10 months ago in San Jose.

“We’re continuing to test it and we have to install the capability in every building,” Bettman said. “It’s just a time-consuming process.”

Bettman balked when asked if the tracking data would be made available to the general public. Last year we took a first look at the potential data and information divide that could be coming down the pike for fans and arm chair analysts (here).

“It’s going to start as a broadcast enhancement and then we’ll take it from there,” Bettman said. “It’s going to have to evolve because in terms of what data people are finding useful, [that’s] something we’re going to all learn together.”

It’s believed the new puck and player tracking data will also provide the base for many of the leagues new gambling initiatives that are also slowly rolling out this season.

The NHL will experiment with Puck and Player Tracking at the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis on Jan. 25, and the system should be ready around the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The NHL has spent years and tens of millions of dollars developing the system, which uses sensors in pucks and on players to create hundreds of data points per second. The League is being deliberate about the rollout.

As noted in a previous NoVa Caps story, new technology is coming to the NHL and it’s coming fast.  In a recent Washington Post article, it was noted that the Washington Capitals utilized GPS and heart-rate monitoring technologies during the prospect development camp, held July 7th-11th.

The KHL implemented its puck-tracking and player-tracking system at the start of this season, well ahead of the NHL. (more here).

By Jon Sorensen

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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