LAS VEGAS — The NHL for the first time has tested real-time puck and player tracking in regular-season games and intends to have it in place across the league next season.
Microchips were added to players' shoulder pads and fitted inside specially designed pucks for two Vegas Golden Knights home games this week, against the New York Rangers and the San Jose Sharks. Antennas around the arena tracked the players and the puck through radio frequencies and relayed the data to a suite where league and Players' Association executives and representatives from 20 teams and various technology firms, sports betting companies and TV rights holders were watching.
Previous versions of puck and player tracking were tested at All-Star games and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The latest tests were intended to refine the logistics of using the technology in meaningful games and to show how the real-time statistics can be used on broadcasts, in betting applications and even to create virtual reality and augmented reality simulations.