The NHL’s much-anticipated rollout of its Puck & Player Tracking System, announced during All-Star Weekend in January 2019, will not rollout with the resumption of play this summer. At least not at the start.
According to the Boston Globe, per the league office in New York, shuttered rinks across the Original 31 since early March meant the critical installation work of the system’s data infrastructure was interrupted. It had been completed in 26 arenas.
Another issue: the on-site staffing required to run all the bells and whistles. The league and union have been adamant about limiting the number of bodies inside each of the two hub arenas, which will play host initially to 12 teams at each site. Fewer gadgets, fewer personnel, fewer potential contact issues.
It’s possible, according to a league spokesperson, that the system will be integrated and operational as the postseason evolves. No doubt everyone involved, especially fans eager to see how the system might interface with legalized betting, would like to see it used for the Stanley Cup Final, currently and tentatively scheduled to begin approximately Oct. 1 (all dates flexible).
By Jon Sorensen
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