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NHL, Amazon Web Services Partner to Develop New Stats, Data, and Insights

The National Hockey League (NHL) is partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in an effort to provide fans with new stats, insights, and data as soon as this season.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman discussed how AWS will help enhance the fan viewing experience.

“AWS’s state-of-the-art technology and services will provide us with capabilities to deliver analytics and insights that highlight the speed and skill of our game to drive deeper fan engagement.”

The NHL was already moving forward with its “Player and Puck Tracking Initiative,” which relies on sensor chips embedded in game pucks and player jerseys to detect their movements. Sporttechie.com reported in January that the data collected will be used to “fuel in-game statistics for broadcasts and highlight things such as player speed, shift distance and total distance traveled.”

New NHL Stats and Analytics

Recently, NBC Sports’ anchor, Liam McHugh interviewed NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, and the CEO of Amazon Web Services, Andy Jassy to discuss the details behind the new AWS-NHL Alliance.

Amazon Web Services CEO, Andy Jassy discussed two new stats that could become available on NHL broadcasts.

  • Advanced Stats
    • Goal Predictability
    • Forecasts likelihood that a Goal will be scored
    • Face-off Predictability
    • Forecasts likelihood that a Face-off will be won
  • Player Analysis
    • Goalies
      • Tracking Shots on Goal
        • Where shot is taken
        • Goalie position
        • Does the shot result in:
          • Goal
          • Save or Rebound

Later on in the interview, Commissioner Bettman was asked by McHugh, how new stats and analytics developed by the NHL and AWS will impact fans watching live games at home. Bettman described why he believes all types of fans will enjoy the new stats, data, and insights that the league is working on.

“If you’re an avid fan, you can get whatever you want out of the game. You can take the game on your terms and if you’re a casual fan, This will take you inside the game so you can understand it in ways you never thought possible.

What the Future Holds

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced before the season that the NHL will lose $1 billion for playing a 56-game season. Then, Front Office Sports reported two weeks later that the league was “borrowing $1 billion” which will be split among all 31 teams. Sports Business Journal later clarified that “each of the clubs will be able to draw up to $30 million.”

In October, 2020, FOS reported that ESPN was “increasingly interested in bidding for the NHL’s U.S. Media Rights”. ESPN last held rights to NHL broadcasts in 2004 and the ten-year contract the NHL had with NBC Sports ended before the 2020-21 season.

One day in the future, fans may be treated to “National Hockey League Night on ESPN” once more. Hockey fans will cross their fingers in hope that the future of professional ice hockey on TV will be as good as the last 15 years.

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Anthony Paradiso
Anthony has been a sportswriter at In The Zone since Sept. 2019. He graduated from Montclair State, where he was assistant Editor of the student newspaper's sports section. He also co-hosts a sports-themed radio show on the campus station, WMSC 90.3 FM, which was recently named #1 college radio station in the nation.

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