The two biggest challenges for the NHL on television remain (a) how to properly transfer the thrills of the in-arena experience to the small screen and (b) how to use emerging technologies to delve deeper into the action inside the rink.
On that latter point, we've been really excited to see how the game opens up with next-gen helmet cams like the GoPro, which USHL linesman Patrick Turcotte was wearing during this fight between Dax Lauwers of the Lincoln Stars and Patrick Kirkland of the Des Moines Buccaneers on Friday night. This is pretty awesome, if brief:
As you can see, the results were rather promising; check out this penalty shot from the linesman's view:
Here's an 8-minute look at the game from the linesman's helmet:
More info from Yeti can be found here; really solid USHL blog.
The GoPro cameras have previously been used for everything from inline hockey to stick's-eye-view videos. Can the technology get to a point where helmet cams can be integrated into an on-ice official's gear, and then offer live shots and/or replays of things like fights and scrums around the crease?
That's where we're headed. And with the advent of the "second screen" experience — i.e. NHL.com or NBC/TSN/CBC offering additional camera feeds on your iPad — we could be headed there rather soon.