The National Hockey League is going all-in on the iPad for this year’s playoffs.
Apple and the NHL struck a partnership for the 2017 playoffs that will give all 16 playoff teams three iPad Pros that can be accessed by players and coaches during their quest for the Stanley Cup.
Each arena has also been outfitted with Macs to provide video feed back for coaches. Officials will also get access to the iPads in order to review coach’s challenges.
iPads on ice
The NHL began testing the iPads late in the regular season to provide real-time video so players can see how they performed. This season coaches have were able to use video monitors from the bench to decide when to challenge plays too.
All the new technology should translate into a better product on the ice, according NHL chief technology officer Peter DelGiacco who spoke with the Associated Press.
“By the time the player gets off his shift, that content is available within a minute, I guess, from the time it actually took place,” DelGiacco said. “Today generally speaking a lot of that would be done between periods and there’s a limited amount of time. … This kind of gives the coaches and the players real-time access so that they can make adjustments.”
Rumors of a deal between Apple and the NHL began surfacing early in the season. The partnership is similar to the one forged by Microsoft and the NFL which has put Surface tablets on the sidelines of football games for the past three season.
Some NFL coaches like Bill Belichick hate Microsoft’s tablets on the sideline, but NHL coaches think it will be help make sure referees make the right call.
“It’s going to be huge in the playoffs,” Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “The referees, the league wants to get it right, the coaches want to get it right.”