Photo: Boston Globe
According to The Boston Globe, a new puck with a tiny battery embedded, a circuit board around the size of half of a dollar, and six-inch-long tubes that let in infrared light at 60 pulses per second, is set to debut in the NHL this season.
Each puck will cost the league $40 to produce. This is part of the NHL unveiling its long-anticipated Puck and Player Tracking technology to get used for enhanced data collection and metrics, and the tidal wave of legalized sports betting that is on the way.
The puck will be six ounces, three inches wide, and one inch thick.
Players have told the Boston Globe that it feels the same on their sticks, fires just like the old version, and pings off the iron and rink boards with honest-to-Boom Boom Geoffrion auditory authenticity.
Because of the truncated season, the NHL logo will be the only one on the center of the pucks. Each team, including the Seattle Kraken who are set to make their debut in 2021-22, will have their logos on the pucks next season.
The critical tech element is the puck’s battery-powered infrared light and the beam necessary to a triangulation system that also has 16-18 cameras inside each arena. Every NHL player will also be outfitted with an infrared tag (which will be the size and shape of a pack of the game) slipped into the backs of their jerseys.
Other than cameras mounted in the top and elsewhere in the arena, all of the light beams and associated PPT technology will not be seen. All of the puck and player movement will be tracked, recorded, and all of the information streamed into a giant data punch bowl.
These pucks are manufactured in three stages across three sits: Soucy Baron (produces raw form puck), SMT, Inc. (puts battery, circuit boards, and light tubes in each puck), and Inglasco, Inc. (uses a silkscreening process to place logos on the center).
The paint applied by Inglasco turns purple when the pucks are chilled to the appropriate temperature for gameplay. If purple fades to a gray tone, it will be pulled from play. During games, pucks will be stored in a tiny freeze box at rinkside, alongside the official scorer’s position.
Once a puck is out of play, the arena tech crew will deactivate it from the PPT system and a new puck, with a unique embedded code, will be activated. The fan who goes home with the souvenir puck will just have a chunk of rubber, which will have a dead battery 4-6 hours later.
By Harrison Brown