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NHL will use puck, player tracking technology for 2019-2020 season

The NHL joins the NFL with wearable tracking technology.

2019 NHL All-Star - NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman Press Conference And Innovation Spotlight Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL is planning to use puck and player tracking for the 2019-2020 season, league commissioner Gary Bettman announced Friday during the All-Star weekend in San Jose, California.

The NHL joins the NFL as the only major North American professional sports league with wearable tracking technology.

When the league will do a full roll out with the technology is unknown. The NHL is testing it and receiving feedback from players, teams and others. The data is collected through mircochips created by German company Jogmo World Corp. that are inserted into pucks and players’ shoulder pads.

“The Puck and Player Tracking system can track pucks at a rate of 2,000 times per second in real-time with inch-level accuracy,” Bettman said. “We’ll instantaneously detect passes, shots, and positioning precisely. It will be equally accurate in tracking players — their movement, speed, time on ice — you name it.

“Being on the forefront of innovation is good for our game, and most especially our fans.”

Bettman said the league has tested the technology dating back to 1996 and the glow puck, which he stressed will not be brought back. The tracking has also been done at the 2015 and 2018 All-Star games and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The most recent data tracking on players and pucks was done during two regular-season games in Las Vegas.

The technology will also be used during this year’s All-Star game at 7 p.m. Central time Saturday on NBC.