The NHL innovates with its motion sensors: all the actions of Ovechkin and Kane on Tuesday will be reproduced live in a cartoon game
Characters from the animated series The Greens in Big Citywho will act as goalkeepers for the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers, a chicken as a referee… Thanks to a partnership between ESPN, Disney and the NHL, the meeting on Tuesday evening between the club of 'Alex Ovechkin and that of Patrick Kane will be presented simultaneously in cartoon form, in which all the action of the match will be reproduced live.
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Big City Greens visits the Big Apple! Don't miss the Big City Greens Classic tomorrow at 7p ET on @DisneyPlus, @ESPN & @ESPNPlus! pic.twitter.com/EuoWUKewFo
— NHL (@NHL) March 13, 2023
The animated recreation of the game, called the “NHL Big City Greens Classic,” is made possible by the player and puck motion sensor systems of the NHL, ESPN explained on its website.
For example, “When Alex Ovechkin takes a one-timer shot at Madison Square Garden, the NHL's 'Edge' technology that is incorporated into his jersey and puck will pick up the information and the player wearing his uniform in the animated version will replicate the movement,” mentioned the sports network.
The “virtual” match will be broadcast Tuesday at 7 p.m. on ESPN+, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney+, while the “traditional” match will be presented in parallel by the usual broadcasters.
Des players… and characters
The hosts of the game, Drew Carter and Kevin Weekes, will also be found in the animated version, in the form of avatars. In particular to remind viewers that they are indeed watching a hockey game.
ESPN also gave some details that should appeal to fans of the cartoon, which has also won Emmy awards. The “virtual” part will take place on Big City's Times Circle. It will feature animated avatars of players from both teams, but some athletes will be replaced by characters from the series.
Far From The Glittering Pucks
It was Edge, the NHL's new data collection technology, that made this project possible, which ESPN didn't imagine was as big before Disney got involved.
Certainly, we are far from the infamous sparkling pucks, the FoxTrax, which were used between 1996 and 1998 during matches broadcast by FOX, and which were to allow viewers to better follow the game…
Stomach instead of fighting
And for the fight lovers: no, no fight will be engaged during the simulated match… even if two players come to blow during the real meeting. This is one of the questions that Ed Placey, vice president at ESPN's Event, has had to answer the most often since he started working on the project.
“ No, there will be no shots fired, he explains. What you're likely to see instead are two players belly-butting each other.”