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Puck and Player Tracking Technology Coming to NHL

National Hockey League

Puck and player tracking technology will be implemented in the NHL next season, providing implications for the fan experience and organization operations. 

The NHL has experimented with puck and player tracking technology on a few occasions, including a regular-season test run in Las Vegas earlier this month. Full-time implementation has been on its radar for some time, however, and commissioner Gary Bettman announced during this past weekend’s All-Star events in San Jose that it will be used around the NHL starting next season.

Once it is in place, puck and player tracking technology is expected to provide data that is worked into a few facets of the fan experience, including television broadcasts and potential gambling. It could also provide implications for organizations as well, with data obtained from the technology being worked into player evaluations. More from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

First and foremost, it will bring new information to television broadcasts. The speed and distance of every shot and pass can be measured precisely. During a test run in Vegas earlier this season, the league discovered San Jose defenseman Brent Burns skated more than 3 miles in a game, and Golden Knights center William Karlsson hit top speeds in excess of 20 mph.

That information can be used for gambling purposes, with the range of prop bets being widened considerably.

It also will be used by teams in player evaluation, which is an area that concerns some members of the players association who are unsure of the role it will play in contract negotiations.

To make the technology work, transmitters will be inserted into players’ shoulder pads and pucks. Though it had been used in prior All-Star Games, the test run at the Vegas Golden Knights’ T-Mobile Arena earlier this month marked the first time that puck and player tracking technology was implemented for regular-season games.

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