For NHL Teams and Players, iPads Have Become an Important Part of the Game – Sports Illustrated

The touchscreen generation is a catchall term encompassing mostly toddlers and tykes, though an exception should be made for hockey’s band of tech-savvy bench bosses. They are addicted like the rest of us, all hunched shoulders and glued eyes, furiously swiping and scrolling during breaks in the action. It is the kind of antisocial behavior that might get decried around their homesteads, if only it hadn’t evolved into such an integral tool at work. “Technology is part of the game,” says Hurricanes coach Bill Peters. “Better get onboard or be left behind.”

No one can claim ignorance or illiteracy anymore. Last spring the NHL unveiled a pilot program that equipped its playoff-bound clubs with 9.7-inch iPads, testing the system on a smaller group before expanding league-wide—and upgrading to 10.5-inch models—for the ‘17-18 season. Now each bench is outfitted with two or three tablets depending on the rink, as is the scorekeepers’ bench, prepared for any officials’ review, sheathed in protective cases and stored against the glass for live video review. 

Take Blaine Forsythe, for example. He is a mild-mannered, middle-aged Capitals assistant whose daily duties include helping oversee their forwards and managing their vaunted power play. He once owned a personal iPad “six or seven years ago, but I used it for about a year then quit.” Now he spends television timeouts watching breakouts, breakdowns, faceoffs, scoring chances, special teams sequences, even-strength sets …  “It’s busy,” he says. “We’re pretty much on it every play, every shift. At least once or twice a game, it helps you in some form.”

The process starts behind the scenes, where Washington video coaches Brett Leonhardt and Tim Ohashi are responsible for clipping and flagging footage on the fly from their bunker cave of computer screens. From there Forsythe can queue whatever play he desires

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