ICING with Patrick Brown

The Glow Puck

October 28, 2017 - 6:37 pm

This is a topic that I had numerous debates with myself about whether or not a certain thing could make hockey more appealing to people who aren't use to hockey. To be quiet honest, it is still something I am arguing with myself on. This is going to be why I think it is time for a glow puck in hockey. If your head moved like Scooby Doo when he finds something that he has no idea what that thing is, don't worry I will explain the glow puck.

The glow puck was something that FOX Sports decided was going to bring audiences in and keep them entertained. They deemed it "The Greatest Technological Breakthrough in the History of Sports". That is not a joke, this was in their promo piece for the games. The puck had technology in it, called FoxTrax, in which it would pulse around 30 times per second so that way the signal could be picked up to the specialty camera. After this, we would see the puck have a glow on it while watching the game on television. So when the puck moves, there will be a glow around the puck so everyone who has a hard time seeing it. Also, every time a shot was taken, the puck would glow red and show the trajectory as the puck heads to the goal. This sounds like an awesome idea and some cool technology. Well, you aren't wrong but you aren't close to being right.

There were two things wrong with this puck. One, the color they chose for puck was blue, I am talking like a lighter blue. In some cases, it looked like it was blending in with the ice. The second problem, was that the glow sometimes lagged behind the puck. It wasn't a huge delay, maybe a few inches on screen lag, but to some people it would drive them crazy. Who am I kidding, the lag drove me crazy.

However, there were some cool upsides to it. As mentioned earlier, the trajectory on shots taken was a really cool thing to see on a broadcast. Also when shots were taken, it was show how fast the puck was traveling towards the net. That to me is one of the coolest things that can be shown. It shows not only how fast these guys can shoot the puck, but how fast the goaltenders have to react in order to save that puck.

So with all this being said, should the glow puck make a return. Well you know the answer I am going to say, I mean I said it in the beginning of the blog. It is a cool thing to try to bring back to broadcasts because it might draw in some younger audiences. Not only that but they can make it look cooler. When the glow puck first was introduced 1994 and it lasted only two seasons, 1996-98, before NHL moved networks. That has been nearly 20 years since we have seen the glow puck in action. Think of the technology upgrades that can happen inside of the puck. We could probably stick a camera in it to see what it's like being a puck. Ok maybe that one is a bad idea but still, with the technology we have today why not give it a chance. If there is a way to design one that will respond better and will reduce the lag from the puck to the camera, it could be a smart move for the NHL.

Am I saying to roll it out for the Stanley Cup playoffs, no. But we do have the All-Star game and the skills competition to try this out on. Think about seeing the skills competition and having a little tracker show the move Crosby made on the shootout competition, or how fast Austin Mathews can shoot a puck. It would make the All-Star experience really cool and would get people starting to talk about hockey. Be honest you clicked on this blog thinking that this was the stupidest thing you have ever heard, but now you are interest. It's time to bring technology into hockey and it is time for hockey to accept that technology.

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