Toronto Maple Leafs use iPads for real-time video coaching

The Toronto Star has a profile on Toroto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson and his role as an advocate for technology within the NHL.

It turns out Wilson is a bit of a technophile; in his time with the Vancouver Canucks as an assistant coach he pioneered using video coaching for more than analyzing other teams. He used video to follow his own players on the ice, dissect their mistakes and see what needed to be improved on the ice.

Now Wilson is modernizing his use of gadgets by bringing tablet computers behind the bench during games. Anyone watching a Leafs game will see Wilson and his assistants poring over iPads, looking at previous plays and showing their players what needs to change for the next shift.

From The Star:

“What we’re doing now is watching every power play and every penalty kill around the league and putting together what we think would be the best power play and what is the best penalty kill for our team,” Wilson said.

“All players can pull up all shifts, instantly, at work stations we have set up around the ACC,” Wilson said. “It helps players scout themselves, like in football, and makes a coach’s job easier because we’re not always coming at them with something negative about the way they’re playing.

“If there’s a question — like should we get Clark McArthur — then we can go on and get every shift, every hit, every time he was hit. … It’s that detailed, and that’s good for the whole organization.”

Using iPads like this is great idea for a team that, with a little improvement, could challenge for the playoffs. Which is why it’s too bad the Leafs are the only ones doing it. Seriously, if the Leafs’ technical staff is as good as the team on the ice, the coaching staff might be looking at fewer plays and more of these.

I’m not saying the Leafs are an incompetent bunch of floaters, but at the same time, they kind of are an incompetent bunch of floaters. I know this technology sounds great, but knowing the Leafs, their great piece of technology probably has some glaringly obvious flaw that will spell utter doom — just like their skaters (coughcough-every-forward-except-Kessel-coughcough).