Potential Future Scoreboard Replacements


Every year, it seems we get at least one or two new scoreboards in the NHL.  We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world of technological advances. The days of a scoreboard being used for 20 years are probably over.  This year we got four new scoreboards, two of which came as a result of new arena construction, while the other two were replacements. Last year, we only saw one new scoreboard, but it was the impressive new Rogers Place scoreboard which showed us just how big you can really go with an equal-sided scoreboard. This year, Detroit and New Jersey, proved you could go even bigger without sacrificing the size of the end boards.
In the current age of LED video scoreboards, the average lifespan so far appears to be just over a decade. So taking age and size into consideration, here is a look at some teams who would seem to be eligible for an upgrade.

Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes currently have the oldest scoreboard in the NHL by several years. It was built when Glendale Arena (now Gila River Arena) was nearing completion in 2003 and at the time it was pretty state-of-the-art. It has the smallest video screens in the league this year. This 14 year old scoreboard is quite overdue for an upgrade, but don’t count on this happening anytime soon. The future of the Coyotes in Gila River Arena is as uncertain as it has been for several years, and without a guarantee of a tenant going forward, it is unlikely that the arena will spend millions of dollars to upgrade this technology. The Coyotes’ best chance of playing under a new scoreboard in the next 5 years will come in a different arena.

Calgary Flames
The “Flames Energy Board” inside the Saddledome is the second smallest scoreboard in the NHL, and is one of four 11-year old scoreboards still in operation. Its age is where things get a little tricky though. The structure/frame of the scoreboard is 11 years, but did you know the LED displays were actually replaced in 2015? You wouldn’t know it by looking at it other than a crisper, HD quality image. The new displays are the same size and the layout did not change at all so the “new” board still falls far behind in its size.  The bigger issue is an aging arena that the Flames are looking to replace. Given their desire to move to a new arena, and the recent digital upgrades to the existing board, do not expect to find a new scoreboard in the Saddledome unless they end up settling on a massive renovation to the building and extending their stay there for decades to come.

Chicago Blackhawks
The Madhouse on Madison also has an 11 year old scoreboard which is the 7th smallest scoreboard in the league. A few years ago, the United Center partnered with Daktronics to install many new LED units to the exterior of the building, as well as the atrium.  They also installed new 360 degree ribbon boards and replaced the LED ribbons above and below the scoreboard. However, the team still uses an old school scoring display below the main video board which is less than efficient and harder to see. Their fan base is strong and I fully expect them to replace the current scoreboard within the next 2 seasons.

Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks also have an 11-year old scoreboard and it is the 11’th smallest scoreboard in the NHL.  It was a very impressive board in its day, and has held up extremely well through the years. It has a great design that still makes it one of my favorites despite its age. Never-the-less, the Canucks will likely replace it in the next 2-4 seasons. I will miss it but I am sure they will come up with something even more impressive.

Philadelphia Flyers & Boston Bruins
Let’s cover these two scoreboards at the same time. Although the Flyers board is 11 years old and the Bruin’s is two years younger, they are the same size (tied for 5th smallest in the league). Both teams are due for an upgrade and with both arena’s housing an NBA and NHL team, look for them both to be replaced within the next 3 seasons.
  
Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres’ scoreboard has been hanging around for 10 years now (and has not fallen once!) It is just slightly bigger than the scoreboards owned by the Blackhawks, Flyers, and Bruins. While it is unique, I have always thought it was a bit strange looking. Given the struggles the Sabres have gone through for the last several years, they can’t be raking in a ton of money these days. Although they probably need a new board, I expect it will stick around for another 3-5 years.

Nashville Predators
Smashville has quite the fan base and has come into some success the last few years, including a Stanley Cup Finals appearance this past Spring. Bridgestone Arena has seen many upgrades over the past couple seasons, but the scoreboard is certainly showing its age. At 10 years old, it is currently the 4th smallest scoreboard in the league.  They have to be looking into a new board in the next couple seasons.

Los Angeles Kings
Staples Center hosts so many events throughout the year between its 2 NBA teams, 1 NHL team, and countless concerts, awards shows, and other entertainment events. Its scoreboard is only 7 years old but the size of the main screens are not as impressive as you would expect to find in Los Angeles. My money is on a new scoreboard for LA in the next 2-3 seasons.

Carolina Hurricanes
“Canes Vision” is only 8 years old but it was never an overly impressive board to start with. It is now the 3rd smallest scoreboard in the league, but the team is struggling. Aside from its struggles on the ice, they are going through some ownership changes and its future is not the brightest. Though they are in need of a new scoreboard, I do not see this happening without some extreme generosity from a potential new owner and some more fans filling the arena. I bet we see the current scoreboard for another 3-4 years.

These are just my opinions and some teams may surprise us. Keep following us on twitter for updates as they come along. 
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