The World Cup of Hockey had a press conference today in Toronto, announcing several things about the upcoming tournament. Among the most interesting, was the revelation that player and puck tracking will be in full effect. Players will have microchips sewed into their sweaters, with the puck also having a sensor embedded inside of it.
Data will be calculated on puck and player speed, trajectory, acceleration and spacing, and will be used during the live broadcasts. For the analytics community, this is huge news, as more data is always a good thing, and the precise movement of each player with and away from the puck will lend itself to stronger analysis. The NHL will use this as a test for a possible future league-wide roll out, though no information has been given on a possible timeline.
The team jerseys at the tournament will also feature advertising for the first time, as the NHL and NHLPA came to an agreement with SAP (a German software corporation) to be the prime sponsor. Shoulder patches will be sewn into each sweater, opening the door for future advertising. The Air Canada Centre will also have animated board advertising installed, much to the chagrin of fans.