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Bettman says puck tracking is coming; talks Calvert injury non-whistle and CBA

19 novembre 2019
After more than 20 years of the glowing puck inside jokes, puck-tracking technology is getting closer to being part of the everyday NHL game experience.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke at the Prime Time Sports and Entertainment Sports Management Conference on Monday, stating he is hopeful that puck-tracking technology will be in place before the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It debuted during the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose this past January.

"We're continuing to test it and we have to install the capability in every building. It's just a time-consuming process," Bettman said.

Puck and player tracking have been in the NHL's sights for years, in efforts to allow both game participants and viewers to learn more about what's happening on the ice.

"It's going to start as a broadcast enhancement and then we'll take it from there," says Bettman. "It's going to have to evolve because in terms of what data people are finding useful, [that's] something we're going to all learn together."

View the new technologies to be set in place here;



The NHL Commissioner also addressed the incident that occurred on the ice during this past weekends game between the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche. After blocking a shot from an awkward position, Avalanche forward Matt Calvert was left sprawled out bleeding after the puck struck him in the head, while play continued for a significant amount of time. It resulted in a Canucks' goal. The play has since been hotly debated in the hockey community. Here's what Bettman had to say about it.

"Generally [the rule allowing officials to stop the game] is applied with common sense and that's what we encourage the officials to [use]," said Bettman. "Obviously if the player is in real distress on the ice, the officials need to react. But those are tough situations to be in, to evaluate in real time. "

"What you don't want -- and this wasn't the case [with Calvert] -- you don't want it being used for gamesmanship, where a game is stopped needlessly. Having said that, any time a player is in distress, the officials know they need to stop the game."

Matt Calvert injury;



Before speaking to the media, Bettman was interviewed by Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke on a variety of different topics. Burke, who formerly worked for Bettman as executive vice-president and director of hockey operations in the 90's, praised Bettman for implementing a viable economic system in the NHL and helping the league find ownership stability in numerous struggling markets over the years.

Bettman, who has been part of three work stoppages since taking his position as Commissioner in 1993, said he's encouraged by the fact that, while both sides still have their issues, neither the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players' Association) nor the league itself exercised it's option to re-open the Collective Bargaining Agreement ahead of schedule next summer.

"I think that's a very positive sign," noted the NHL Commissioner.

Bettman also noted in his comments that at this time, there is nothing further to report in regards to the NHL athletes planning to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in China.

Comments were also made regarding officiating. Bettman noted that at this time, he is happy with the overall state of video review, in addition to the number of challenges, which he stated are down by roughly 1/3. He believes the new rule introduced, in which a failed coach's challenge result in a two-minute minor penalty, are helping to limit the number of challenges in games. He also commented on the video review, stating that it's in place to avoid egregious errors, which in turn will limit challengers for judgment calls, such as goaltender interference. Bettman stated that he sees this as a positive development.

"On a close call that could go either way, it shouldn't be challenged," Bettman said regarding the video review processes in place.
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