NHL Borrows Beer-Can Technology For New Color-Changing Pucks

Items that are better cold: popsicles, hockey pucks, cans of light lager. Now two of those—sorry, popsicles—will begin to share similar thermochromic technology, meaning they'll change colors when their temperatures change.


You're probably familiar with this thanks to Coors Light, which introduced its color-changing labels in 2007. Thanks to a widespread marketing campaign, most Americans know that when the Rocky Mountains turn blue, that Coors Light is at its optimally cold temperature.

Now the National Hockey League would like to use similar technology to help referees determine when its frozen pucks are too warm for gameplay. (Warm pucks bounce more and are more difficult to control, which is why they're replaced throughout the game. Mental Floss reports the average NHL game goes through about a dozen pucks.) The prototypes of a new, color-changing ink puck will debut on New Year's Day during the Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, according to an NHL press release. Referees will know that when the puck's logo turns from purple to clear, the puck is too warm and needs to be replaced.


"Hockey pucks are made of vulcanized rubber and glide smoother and faster when frozen," Dan Craig, NHL Vice President of Facilities Operations, said in the statement. "A coating that changes color when the puck is above freezing will more accurately alert the officials that it is time for a replacement."

Sounds like a smart application of this technology. And unlike the NHL's previous color-changing innovation, this one probably won't give me a headache.