The NHL announced on Wednesday that pucks with “sensitive electronic equipment” will be used during the opening of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.
The smart pucks will mark the official beginning of player and puck tracking in the NHL, which has been a goal of the NHL for the last several seasons. The pucks will spawn the aggregation of new and more nuanced statistics as well as adding more features to broadcasts of games.
The #NHL is introducing a new puck containing sensitive electronic equipment for the opening night of the #StanleyCup Playoffs – after playing the majority of the regular season with a traditional one.
What could possibly go wrong?
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 4, 2020
TSN’s Frank Seravalli posted what appears to be a model of the new puck on Twitter. It includes six small circular ridges on the top of the puck. According to Seravalli, the pucks are made out of the same vulcanized rubber as before but are “assembled in pieces around the electronics.”
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan reports that the NHL has introduced the pucks already into games to test.
The league has quietly tested the new pucks during nine NHL games in nine different buildings since Feb. 6.
“We’ve used them without anybody knowing about it on a number of occasions,” Bettman said. “And there is no issue whatsoever.”
Some star players have also had a chance to experiment with the new pucks privately. Seravalli reported that there was some feedback about the weight and feel being different. Sidney Crosby also noticed that “the edges of the puck felt different.”
Regardless, the NHL is poised to debut the new smart pucks in mid-April and it should begin transforming how the game is viewed and analyzed.
— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) January 26, 2019
The pucks cost approximately $100 each to produce.
Headline photo courtesy of @frank_seravalli
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