Ex-Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward, swapped to Boston from the Rangers at the February 2007 trade deadline, has made a successful career recovery on the other side of the boards.
Ward, 46, nearly 2½ years ago landed a gig with SportsMEDIA Technology Corp. out of Durham, N.C. SMT this coming October will be a key player in the NHL’s new Puck and Player Tracking System that will drive a motherlode of data to a variety of platforms, including broadcast and possibly gambling initiatives.
SMT’s role won’t be to generate the data, but rather to aggregate the information into a basket and then push it out through a firehose.
“So, we’re ingesting the data,” explained Ward. “We take all the inputs . . . time code them . . . take them into our system. Then we are the outputter to all kinds of possible second-end users. It can be anything from broadcasters to league stats to wagering . . . to anybody who needs or wants to draw from that tracking will take it from us.”
The NHL unveiled its PPTS at last month’s All-Star festivities in San Jose, Calif. The Germany-based Jogmo World Corp. will mine the numbers via chips to be placed in every puck and worn by all players.
SMT, its tech innovation also seen in the NFL (first-down yellow line during broadcasts) and major league baseball (the PITCHf/x strike zone) will pick up the data Jorgo delivers.
Ward, who considers himself a jack-of-all-trades with the company, is formally an SMT sports technology analyst, hired in November 2016 after constructing a PowerPoint pitch after an intensive six weeks of research.