The world of video games has become a multi-billion dollar industry. There are certainly plenty of 40-year-olds living in their parents' basement who are the stereotypical gamers.
The gaming craze has gone outside of the conventional "mainstream" though, as the sports video games have caught the fancy of the general population as well.
Athletes and celebrities are some of the most high-profile members of the gaming world and help increase the popularity of some of the big name video game franchises.
With the only NHL action in the foreseeable future existing only on video game consoles, I'll take a look at what the egg-heads at EA Sports have calculated with their newest hockey game: NHL 13. Based solely on the individual player ratings and with no outside interference from yours truly, we'll see how the cards fall and who will win it all.
I haven't adjusted any of the ratings, though I did modify the top three draft picks, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray and Alex Galyenchuk, so that they could actually see the ice in their rookie years.
I also took over control over all operations of each franchise so that there wouldn't be any absurd trades throughout the course of the season. Sorry, I just don't think the Capitals would trade Alex Ovechkin to San Jose for Jason Demers in spite of what the Playstaion GM thinks.
While some people believe that video games have become so advanced that they can be virtual reality simulators, I don't subscribe to such a theory.
While it's fun to predict and play out a "real-ish-istic" scenario, there are just far too many variables over an 82-game season that just can't be accounted for. While talent typically rises to the top, the parity in the NHL means that if a team, player or more importantly a goalie get hot, it can mean the difference in a first-round exit or a Stanley Cup run.
Forget about the questionable rankings, or about how underrated Cal Clutterbuck's shooter rating is, this simulation is just for fun. After all, it's the only NHL hockey we may see for a while. Enjoy now!