7 Players Who Could've Been NHL '12 Cover Athlete
At last night's NHL Awards show, it was announced that the new cover athlete on EA Sports NHL 12 will be none other than Tampa Lightning phenom Steven Stamkos.
Though not entirely shocking, as Stamkos had an outstanding season, I wasn't entirely sure who was going to be picked to don the cover of the best hockey video game on the market.
Here's a list of seven players I felt could have also been given the honor of joining past cover athletes like Jonathan Toews, Chris Pronger, Eric Staal and Joe Sakic.
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This choice seems kind of obvious, as Corey Perry won the Hart Memorial and Maurice Richard trophies last night. He played a fantastic season, scoring 50 goals and 98 points.
He helped lead the Anaheim Ducks to a playoff berth, but they were knocked out by Nashville in the first round.
At only 26 years old, Perry has already won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic Gold Medal and World Junior Championship.
If he continues to have seasons like the one that's just passed, there's no reason to doubt that he will be the cover athlete some day.
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The last time a goaltender was picked to be the cover athlete in the NHL series, the term Sega Saturn was still being thrown around. It was in 1997 and Florida Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck graced the front of the game.
I really thought this was going to be the year that EA Sports let a goalie back onto the cover, as Tim Thomas had a sensational season, winning the Stanley Cup, the Vezina trophy and the Conn Smythe.
Alas, it wasn't the case and judging by Thomas' age, he may never get the chance to be immortalized in video game history.
The Sedin Twins
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It would just seem wrong if either Daniel or Henrik were to be the cover athlete without the other. It even seems wrong to refer to them in a sentence without mentioning the other.
Not since 1996 have two players shared the cover of an EA Sports hockey game, as both Steve Yzerman and Scott Stevens were pictured that year.
After both Henrik and Daniel had sensational back-to-back seasons and made their first Stanley Cup Final, I wouldn't have been surprised if both were chosen to be on the cover of NHL 12.
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I've been following Skinner since his days in the OHL with the Kitchener Rangers and I knew when he was picked seventh overall last June that he would go on to have an exciting rookie season.
Last night, the 19-year-old won the Calder Trophy, became the first rookie since Steve Yzerman to be named to the All-Star team and put up over 60 points on a struggling Carolina team.
Skinner would've become the first rookie to be awarded the EA Sports cover and I wouldn't have been upset if he had been.
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Nicklas Lidstrom will go down as one of the best, if not the best, defenseman of the 2000's. He's won four Stanley Cups, one Conn Smyth, seven Norris Trophies, a gold medal, a World Championship, is a 12-time All-Star and is coming back for one more season in Detroit.
Not since 2000, when Chris Pronger was the cover athlete while still playing for the St. Louis Blues, has a defenseman received the honor.
It would've been a great way to cap off Lidstrom's career had he retired this season, but one more campaign will give him one more shot at landing on the cover next year.
This one's really just for fun, but was there a more talked about incident during the regular season than the Steckel hit on Crosby?
It would've been a slap in the face for Pens fans everywhere, but I still would've bought game if Steickel graced the cover.
Any Player for the Winnipeg Jets
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It would've been great had EA sports came out and announced that a member of the new Winnipeg franchise would don the cover of NHL 12.
It probably would've been Dustin Byfuglien, but any one of them would've done the job.
It would've been great for Canadian hockey fans, for Winnipeg fans and yet another slap in the face to Gary Bettman (which really, is just another good thing for hockey fans).