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Wacky World of Rubber: NHL to debut smart puck technology in 2019

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The most obvious use of rubber in sports occurs in hockey—the puck.

Made from vulcanized rubber, the hockey puck is a pretty important piece of equipment, get it through the net to win the game. The NHL averages about 12 pucks per game, and with 31 NHL teams playing 82 games each, that's more than 30,000 pucks before we even get to the playoffs.

And all those pucks are about to get a lot smarter.

One constant problem the NHL faces is following the puck on television, in fact Fox Sports tried to remedy this with the not so popular "glow puck." Before high definition, this was a tough task. It's easier, but the league is getting ready to roll out "smart puck" technology that should enhance viewer experience significantly.

The league will embed technology into its pucks that will allow it to track movements at the rate of about 200 times per second. The data will be used in a number of ways, but one of the main drivers is to enhance broadcasts and allow fans to better track the puck.

But it will also, in theory, help teams during the games. The league said live data can be sent to each team's bench for coaches and players to analyze using league-approved tablets.

The technology is set to be introduced and tested in 2019, during either the playoffs or at the start of the 2019-20 season. So keep your eyes open, it shouldn't be hard to miss.

At least, not anymore.

Chris Sweeney is, currently, smarter than your average puck. Follow him on Twitter @CSweeneyRPN.