ShareThis Page
NHL commissioner Bettman says puck, player tracking tech coming next season | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

NHL commissioner Bettman says puck, player tracking tech coming next season

Jonathan Bombulie
| Friday, January 25, 2019 6:20 p.m
675406_web1_1124832502
Getty Images
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks during an NHL All-Star Week news conference Jan. 25, 2019, at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.

Puck and player tracking technology is coming to the NHL next season.

Commissioner Gary Bettman announced at his annual state of the league address at the NHL All-Star Game in San Jose on Friday that transmitters will be inserted into every player’s shoulder pads and every puck used for game action starting next fall.

The technology will have many applications.

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.

Union rep Mathieu Schneider said some older players are wary of player tracking, but some younger players are used to new technologies and embrace it.

“There are guys that are a little skeptical of how the data will be used, and we’ve had some protections (built) into this agreement, but I would say the players are very hopeful that we’re going to see a lot of progress and the positives are going to far outweigh the negatives,” Schneider said.

In other topics addressed Friday:

• Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly sounded an optimistic tone about negotiations that have begun for a new CBA between the league and its players. The current agreement expires in 2020, but both sides have an opt-out clause that can be activated in September.

“I think the fact that we’re sitting down and having constructive dialogue on open issues at an early date is very positive,” Daly said.

Added Bettman: “We’re not looking for a fight.”

• Bettman touted quality of play improvements, noting 6.1 goals are being scored per game this season, the highest such figure in more than a decade. He said changes to goalie equipment and stricter enforcement of slashing penalties deserve credit for the uptick in offense. He also bragged that there have been 345 comeback victories this season, including 96 from multiple-goal deficits.

• Discussing some of the league’s troubled franchises, Bettman said the New York Islanders remain on track to break ground on a new arena at Belmont Park in May or June, and negotiations surrounding a new building in Ottawa remain complicated. He said the Edmonton Oilers are a franchise on sound footing, despite their on-ice problems.

• The league filled in some blanks with its outdoor schedule for next season. Dallas will host Nashville at the Cotton Bowl in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Colorado will host Los Angeles at the Air Force Academy on Feb. 15.

Ill competition

Sidney Crosby missed Friday night’s skills competition with an illness, the league announced. He still plans to play in the All-Star Game on Saturday night.

Kris Letang was the lone Penguins representative in the competition. He competed in accuracy shooting, hitting four targets on seven tries. Boston’s David Pastrnak won the event.

Letang was booed regularly by fans in San Jose, where the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2016.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid won the fastest skater contest for the third straight year. U.S. Olympian Kendall Coyne stole the show, finishing within a second of McDavid’s winning time. Washington’s John Carlson won the hardest shot, hitting 102.8 on the radar gun. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist won the save streak event, stopping 12 consecutive shooters.


Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.


Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.