ESPN, Disney Branded Television and the National Hockey League (NHL®) are once again teaming up to bring fans the second "NHL Big City Greens Classic," a live, animated NHL game telecast featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins on March 9 at 10 p.m. CEST. Last year’s “NHL Big City Greens Classic” featuring the Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers was the first-of-its-kind live volumetric animation presentation.

The alternate presentation of the Penguins-Bruins game will feature real-time virtually recreated animation of NHL players and teams modeled after characters on Disney Channel’s hit animated series “Big City Greens.” The alternate presentation will once again leverage tracking technology to recreate the action on the ice as it is happening while featuring “Big City Greens” characters skating alongside animated versions of the NHL players. Highlights for this year’s animated telecast:

  • The presentation will blend two types of tracking technologies – NHL EDGE positional data (NHL Puck and Player tracking) and Hawk-Eye Innovations optical tracking – to create more dynamic player and character movement to help fans better visualize detailed limb and stick movement and mannerisms.
  • With the blessing of captains Brad Marchand and Sidney Crosby, “Big City Greens’” very own Gramma will coach the Bruins, while her grandson, Cricket, will coach the Penguins.
  • The ESPN commentators calling the action on the animated telecast – Drew Carter, Kevin Weekes and Arda Öcal – will wear virtual reality headsets for motion capture, to immerse them in the animated environment of Times Circle.
  • “Big City Greens” voice talent will also be featured in the presentation, including creator and executive producer Chris Houghton (Cricket), Marieve Herington (Tilly), Zeno Robinson (Remy), Artemis Pebdani (Gramma) and creator and executive producer Shane Houghton (various characters).
  • The two intermissions of the game will feature an animated skills competition between the “Big City Greens” characters.

The real-time animation will be produced in association with ESPN Edge Innovation Center and NHL EDGE Innovation partner Beyond Sports.

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