The Evolution of Technology and How it Makes our Game Safer and Jobs Easier

By Ian Cox, Assistant Equipment Manager, Ottawa Senators

Like everything in our world today, technology advances have influenced our game, and jobs a ton. As equipment managers we have seen many significant advances in recent times.

Beginning a few seasons ago, the SMT tracking system was introduced which has provided significant data to our staffs, the League, and fans of the game through the television broadcasts.

From an equipment manager standpoint, it is another responsibility that is on our plate, but with the help of our uniform partners SMT and the League, they have made it as simple as possible for us given we already have a lot on our plates. As well as the player tracking, we now have similar technology in the pucks which once again gives us and the fans a lot of really cool data to learn from and enhance the viewers experience. Much like the player tracking this has been a very simple transition and not much has changed for us as far as managing the pucks.

More important than this however is the advances in equipment technology. This has made our lives easier while making the game safer for the players. Many manufacturers are now using 3D printing to make custom helmet liners for players and soon goalies. It has really caught on and more and more players are beginning to use it with great feedback.

Secondly to the helmets, the scanning technology used for custom fitting skates has been a great success. I think most will agree that we are punching, stretching and modifying far less skates now and the fit has been more consistent since this fitting technology was introduced.

As much as some of this has added to our daily to day tasks, I also feel it has saved us time in other areas. It’s been exciting to watch this evolve so quickly in front of our eyes. I have no doubt this will trickle down to all levels now that it’s been established, which is great for everyone, especially when it makes the game safer. As usual, the cohesion and teamwork of our group, equipment partners and respective leagues has made this work as easily as it has. We are all excited to see what comes next.

All photos courtesy of Ian Cox.

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