When Major League Baseball began its 2019 postseason, there were rumors that the league introduced new baseballs. Not just out of the box new, but a new “non-juiced” ball. However, MLB claimed the balls were the same as the balls used in the regular season. Well, the National Hockey League decided they won’t be hiding anything from the public, and admitted that the pucks used in the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs will be different.
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?
Story: https://t.co/Bj9959ZLPu pic.twitter.com/KdxFUyXzNQ
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 4, 2020
The new playoff pucks are made from the same material as the puck used today in NHL arenas. The only difference is the new rubber biscuits will have six sensors built-in to begin the future of player/puck tracking.
Our partners have been trying to make sure that this thing looks and feels and performs as close to the real thing we have today as possible… Key players have been playing with it during practices and the feedback has been minimal. -Steve McArdle, NHL’s vice-president of digital media and strategic planning
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun was in Boca Raton, FL for the GM meetings and attended the league’s presentation about their plan to launch the new tracking puck in the first round of the playoffs. LeBrun reported the NHL is highly confident that the puck will not impact the postseason, and it’s possible the players won’t even notice.
They’ve done a ton of testing. The league is extremely confident that the puck they’ve tested there will be no difference. In fact it’s been used and Bettman said today that 24 games this year without teams even knowing. There was no feedback.- Pierre LeBrun
TSN’s Frank Seravalli questioned the league’s decision to christen the hi-tech puck in the postseason. After all, it is the playoffs and there’s a lot on the line.
With that comes a fear for the new puck’s integrity that will probably keep NHL executives awake at night.
Imagine a scenario in which the new puck explodes into three pieces after ricocheting off the crossbar on a scoring play in the Stanley Cup Final.
-Frank Seravalli, TSN