According to Sportsnet analyst Eric Francis, the NHL will start using a new puck and white player tags for tracking speed and additional player data. These enhancements will debut during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin April 8 across the networks of NBC. The league will continue to use the new puck and tags as part of digital broadcasting additions for the future.
The six, circular inserts will track puck data. Players will wear those white tags, which can track speed and other information.
NHL will start using a new puck in the playoffs and moving forward, as part of its upcoming digital broadcasting additions. Note the six, subtle inserts to track puck data. Players will wear the white tags to track speed and plenty other data that will be available to viewers. pic.twitter.com/4MmXk33Pop
— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) March 3, 2020
Francis also mentioned that the pucks have been “thoroughly tested” to meet the standards of today’s puck, but it is more expensive. If it exits play, the league will not be asking fans for the puck back.
This is only the beginning for enhancing data and technology in the NHL. During his annual All-Star Weekend press conference in January, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed player and puck tracking and other digital advancements. All 16 playoff arenas will be using the tracking this postseason and it will be leaguewide by the 2021-22 season.
Bettman also said there will be more data “than ever before”. Players will generate 200 data points per second and the puck can generate 2,000 data points per second. Dasher boards will also be digitalized. Advertisements can be changed and customized throughout the game to provide better media presence and engagement for everyone. It will not change any look or atmosphere of the arena.
In a recent NoVa Caps piece, we’ve discussed the approaching next-gen NHL data and different cases to make the game’s characteristics and player’s play have clearer and elevated quality.
We will continue to update on the new data systems and technology enhancements in the coming weeks and months.
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By Della Young