NHL Removing Pucks with Tracking Technology Because of Faulty Performance

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2021

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, file photo, fans pose below the NHL league logo at a display outside Falcon Stadium before an NHL Stadium Series outdoor hockey game between the Los Angeles Kings and Colorado Avalanche, at Air Force Academy, Colo. The NHL nailed down the final details of a playoff format if the season can resume on the same day word came out that another player has tested positive for the coronavirus. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The NHL is temporarily halting the use of pucks featuring tracking technology because "concerns were raised about the puck's performance during the first few days of the 2020-21 season." 

The league announced the news Tuesday, noting the pucks that were being used "did not receive the same precise finishing treatments during the off-season manufacturing process as were used during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs." 

As a result, the NHL is shifting back to the use of game pucks from the 2019-20 campaign until it has better quality tracking pucks available.

One player told Greg Wyshynski of ESPN the pucks used at the start of the season were "terrible" and "don't slide."

The NHL said it will continue using player tracking information which Wyshynski noted was implemented along with the pucks with tracking tech in an effort to improve broadcasts and even sports betting.

Following testing during last season's playoffs, using pucks with tracking technology was one of a handful of changes this season as the league attempts to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the notable changes is the realignment into four divisions, including one which is made up entirely of Canadian teams.

The use of an all-Canada division was necessary because of travel restrictions in place because of the pandemic.

The top four teams in each division will advance to the playoffs.


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