Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Two Years Too Late

It might be a year since Eric Staal led his team to the Stanley Cup, but he has a new accolade to add to his resumé: EA Sports "NHL 08" cover boy. The Carolina Hurricanes centreman replaces Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin as Electronic Art's new poster boy. The 23-year old centreman describes himself as an avid gamer. Staal was humble enough not to disclose what team he picks when he plays the EA NHL games. One would assume it would be Carolina, but perhaps, after the season Jordan, his brother, had with Pittsburgh, he may not represent the red, black, and white. I'm quite sure that with Jordan slated to appear in this game, there will be many Carolina-Pittsburgh games played on some gaming console this fall.

NHL '08 is the 16th edition of EA Sports' NHL franchise, and is being developed by the company's Vancouver studio (who have created and designed all 15 previous editions). It will be released in September.

Florida Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck was the first player to be featured solely on the cover in 1997. Other players who have appeared on the box since 1997 include Peter Forsberg, Mario Lemieux, Jarome Iginla, Joe Sakic, Markus Naslund and Vincent Lecavalier. Dany Heatley was supposed to appear on the cover in 2004, but was replaced by Joe Sakic after the tragic car accident that killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder.

As much as I like the new versions of the EA NHL franchise, I still prefer the old Sega Genesis versions. They're fun, they're crazy, and they have cool features like blood on the ice in NHLPA '93. I was also a fan of the expansion drafts that EA incorporated. However, as I digress with my love of the Sega Genesis versions of the EA Sports' NHL franchise, I will say that featuring Eric Staal on the cover is a good choice.

Staal won the 2006 Stanley Cup Championship with Carolina last year, and was a member of the Canadian team that won the IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in May this year. He will be a contributing member of the hockey world for years to come as well.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Sage Confucius said...

Isn't there a curse for hockey much like the Madden curse in football? I love seeing the young players putting it all out there. One could be my son. LOL Wow I'm old.

Teebz said...

Not yet, Sage. There has been the comment that I've heard about players appearing on the cover never winning a Stanley Cup again in their careers. However, I don't want to think about that curse, especially when considering how young Eric Staal is. :o)

Steph said...

Not surprising, considering he was the face of their absolutely infuriating (at least to us bitter Oilers fans) "how does it feel" post-Cup victory commercials last year...oh how the hate wells up when I remember.

Er, I'm over it, uh, I swear. (Actually I seem to have made penance with the Staal...somehow. Oh what a year does.)