Technology can be bad. The NHL, which has just announced it will discontinue pucks with imbedded tracking for the foreseeable future, apparently agrees.
The decision will go into effect immediately.
“The NHL reviewed the first supply of tracking pucks that it has been using and determined that they did not receive ‘the same precise finishing treatments during the offseason manufacturing process as were used during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs,'” ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported.
Many players complained that the tracking pucks affected their performance. One NHL player told ESPN that the pucks were “terrible.” The biggest issue, the player said, is that the pucks “don’t slide,” which of course can be problematic for a game that’s always on the move.
“The league said a new supply of the pucks will be available soon and will ‘undergo appropriate quality control testing’ before being used in games,” Wyshynski wrote.
The NHL said it will now switch back to pucks used during the 2019-20 season. It will also still utilize optical player tracking, “which is the other half of the two-pronged tracking system along with the devices inside the puck,” per Wyshynski.
This was expected to be the first season of puck and player tracking, as the league attempts to enhance the overall viewing — and betting — experiences.