Let’s take a trip down memory lane all the way back to Jan. 20, 1996.
The Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men ballad “One Sweet Day” was enjoying its seventh of 11 straight weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, the vampire western cult classic “From Dusk till Dawn” was in the midst of a pretty good opening weekend at the box office, and the NHL all-star game was being hosted in Boston where Bruins legend Ray Bourque was named MVP as the East defeated the West 5-4.
More importantly than the game’s result and Bourque’s accomplishment however, was the fact that on that all-star game Fox, the television network broadcasting the contest in the United States, introduced the world to the FoxTrax puck, better known as “glow puck.”
Created to help a more casual hockey audience track the puck on TV, what resulted was an incredibly distracting, Super Nintendo-esque graphic permanently whizzing across the screen all game long in rather annoying fashion.
Mercifully for all the hockey fans south of the border, the glow puck was abandoned and last used during Game 1 of the 1998 Stanley Cup Final.
Flash-forward nearly 21 years, however, and the glow puck made its return – whether it should be called triumphant or not is really up to personal taste, I suppose.
Saturday night during the local Fox broadcast of the Edmonton Oilers–Los Angeles Kings game, the glow puck made a return, though only limited to replays as the original glow pucks – which reportedly cost $400 each to make – weren’t actually being used and the production team just used a little post-production work to add the glow effect.
This was part of a planned ’90s Throwback Night organized by the Kings, so the chances of the glow puck returning for anything more than just this one-off seems unlikely.