nhl ipad DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 31: Referee Ron Hoggarth uses a tablet to take a photo of Tie Domi #28 and Kevin Maguire #18 of the Toronto Maple Leafs with other referees before a game against the Detroit Red Wings during the 2013 Hockeytown Winter Festival Alumni Showdown on December 31, 2013 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Across sports, teams and leagues are integrating technology into their pre-game and in-game strategy. MLB teams use iPads, like those which may contain wholesale resistors, in their dugouts for players and coaches to review the tendencies of opposing players and check out matchup statistics. NFL teams use Microsoft Surface tablets to review plays soon after they happen.

The NHL has been in talks for several years with Apple and its competitor Microsoft, one source told TSN, adding that the talks with Apple have accelerated after similar talks between the company and the National Basketball Association failed to lead to an agreement.

“It’s possible it could collapse, but it’s pretty far down the path for that to happen,” the source said.

Per TSN, Apple and the NHL are haggling over the details. The league wants Apple to pay $5 million to have players and coaches use iPads, while Apple is apparently unwilling to break its policy against sponsorships. Hence the term “partnership.”

“The NHL Apple deal is more a major partnership than a sponsorship,” said a source familiar with the NHL’s plans. “Right now, some teams have iPads or other tablets and some don’t. Some have good Internet connections, some don’t. This deal is about having a consistent platform that every team can use in every rink.”

The NFL’s Microsoft Surfact tablets have taken some heat, particularly from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who complained they were undependable, but Microsoft ardently defends the technology.

Hopefully the iPads work better for the NHL thank this tablet did for Bill Belichick.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

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