Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

New Technology About To Hit The Ice

(12/9/2019)

from Bryan Horwath of the Las Vegas Sun, Many remember how the technology created a glowing puck on TV screens, leaving a cometlike trail of color once the puck reached certain speeds. But FoxTrax didn’t last long, to the delight of hockey purists who’d denounced it as too gimmicky for a sport steeped in tradition. Dave Lehanski, the NHL’s senior vice president of development and innovation, says FoxTrax was “way ahead of its time, but it just wasn’t ready back then. You could see it wasn’t working right.” Now, the NHL is preparing to introduce a more advanced version of the technology in 2020 in an attempt to make itself more attractive to younger viewers. Players will don wearable technology—sensors about the size of an Oreo cookie—on the back of their shoulder pads, which will track certain metrics in real time. The puck will also be outfitted with a chip that can communicate with a series of cameras and sensors. The technology was tested in January during two Vegas Golden Knights games at T-Mobile Arena. Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty says he’s intrigued by the idea, but adds, “There were a lot of issues with bouncing pucks and whatnot.” Still, he says, “It’s something that could be fun for the fans.” That’s the league’s goal for this technology, which will produce more in-game data to enhance the viewing experience, especially for statistics fans and sports bettors who desire more information. read on

Paul Kukla (Kukla's Korner)

The Equipment Fixer

(12/8/2019)

from Sonny Sachdeva of Sportsnet, Marco Argentino has been the man NHL superstars from Gretzky to McDavid trust with their gear. Now, he's also helping shape the future of equipment design. The smell of leather hangs thick in the air, tangled with the scent of metal and wood and the years-old collections of dust that gather here and there atop the shelves lining every wall in the place. It’s mid-March of 1991, and 26-year-old Marco Argentino is perched on a stool in the back corner of this unassuming shoe repair shop, engrossed as he inspects the finer details of the hockey gloves on the desk in front of him. This isn’t any old run-of-the-mill establishment, though walking down Wellington Street and glancing up at the curling blue-and-white lettering atop the storefront — Cordonnerie Argentino — a passerby could be forgiven for not feeling the full weight of the Argentinos’ place in Montreal’s storied hockey history. No, this shop isn’t interchangeable with any of the others that have lined this street, precisely because the pair of gloves sitting before Argentino isn’t interchangeable with any other in the city. These particular gloves belong to Guy Carbonneau, captain of the Montreal Canadiens, who’s awaiting the results of Argentino’s work as he prepares for the ’91 playoffs. The problem is the palms. The captain wants them replaced with something thinner, something that gives him a better feel for his stick. Argentino’s already made one unsuccessful attempt today, sewing on a fresh horsehide palm and making the trek up to the Montreal Forum, only to be met with a stern, “Thinner.”  continued