The National Hockey League plans to unveil a new player tracking system at the upcoming All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, reports Sportsnet.ca.
According to the report, officials from the NHL and NHL Players Association will be in Columbus next week to test the technology. The goal is to employ the Sportvision system during the skills competition on Jan. 24 and during the All-Star Game on Jan. 25.
The technology involves placing computer chips in the sweaters of each player, as well as in the puck, to chart what happens on the ice.
Everything from "how far and how fast a player skates to how hard he shoots and how he positions himself would be measured," all in real time, according to Sportsnet.ca.
A test was conducted at San Jose’s SAP Center last fall. Junior players and former members of the San Jose Sharks played a game while outfitted with the chips and tracking equipment. The test was considered a success.
"We believe it can bring a lot," NHL chief operating officer John Collins told La Presse in September. "Not only for training and coaching applications, but for the fans. It allows us to understand the game better."
"Also, it should make it easier for fans who never played hockey to understand why these guys are so talented, and what it takes to play the game."
Sportvision wants to introduce the technology on a league-wide basis next season, but hasn’t gotten approval from the players' union yet.
- Phil Watson