While their competition’s Nintendo Wii-exclusive (OK, OK, it’s on the iPhone too in some form) title “NHL 2K11” title already shipped on Tuesday, EA Sports still is in the process of promoting the latest iteration in its flagship hockey franchise, “NHL 11.”
Who knows how much of the audience is interested in the Canadian Hockey League’s junior teams, but I think it’s a great way to increase familiarity with prospects and the wide array of hockey teams playing in North America. The biggest bonus might also be that gamers will be able to use Taylor Hall, Tyler Seguin and other draft picks right out of the box after years of waiting for roster updates to utilize the league’s best rookies.
Having the ability to trade up to five players on each side of a transaction could be a double-edged sword. On one hand, extra maneuverability is always welcome in concocting wacky trade offers. The flip side of that, though, is judging from that Evgeni Malkin for five mediocre players deal seen in the video … it’s just another way for unscrupulous digi-GMs like myself to exploit the virtual general managers out there.
Regardless of that quibble, the addition of restricted free agency and other simple-but-effective tweaks make me excited for the upcoming game. I’ve spent a bit more time with the demo and actually kind of enjoy the new physics and … dare I say it … even the broken sticks.
Expect some quirky stories and a review or two of NHL ’11 sometime after it comes out on September 7.
In other Coyotes news, the team made Pierre-Olivier Joseph (the 23rd pick of the 2017 NHL Draft) one of their training camp cuts. So not all good news for prominent Coyotes with hyphenated names, although you could argue that POJ(?) might be better off receiving additional seasoning.
Earlier today, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they would accept an invitation to visit the White House. You can read all about that here, including the Penguins’ brief statement on the matter.
On a day in which NFL teams are drawing attention for how players (and owners) are acting during the national anthem, Donald Trump took a moment to confirm the Penguins’ visit, and also to praise them on Twitter.
Trump issued this tweet on the matter:
Please to inform that the Champion Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL will be joining me at the White House for Ceremony. Great team!
It sure looks like the St. Louis Blues are going to limp into the 2017-18 season (sometimes literally).
The team announced that promising young forward Robby Fabbri will miss the remainder of training camp after injuring his surgically repaired left knee. The Blues say that they will re-evaluate Fabbri, 21, in 10 days.
It’s difficult to say how bad this issue is, but knee injuries – particularly involving knees that are already problems for athletes – can be tricky.
Even if this is a mere short-term setback, it’s staggering how long the Blues’ injury list is even before their season-opener.
Patrik Berglund might not be back until late 2017 or even into 2018 with his own shoulder issues.
While such injuries open up opportunities for younger players to make even temporary jumps, it’s tough to stomach as Mike Yeo preps for his first full season behind the Blues bench.
In Fabbri’s case, this is a considerable disappointment, as he was starting to show the zip at the NHL level that’s made him such a prolific scorer in the OHL. Here’s hoping he gets over these issues, as considering his size, a significant loss in speed could be a serious problem for Fabbri.
Coyotes want to retire Shane Doan’s number in the future
After more than two decades the Arizona Coyotes and Shane Doan parted ways this offseason, ultimately resulting in the 40-year-old forward retiring from the league.
The decision to part ways with Doan was part of a massive overhaul that dramatically changed the outlook of the team, ending a lengthy chapter in its history.
The Coyotes would eventually like to honor Doan by retiring his number “at a time that is right for him.”
That is what team owner Andrew Barroway said at a Coyotes’ town hall meeting, via Sarah McLellan.
“The relationship with Shane Doan has improved,” Barroway said. “We’ve reached out. We’ve spoken with Shane. Everyone loves him. He’s a class act, great guy.”
There are no plans for any sort of an official announcement this season, but Barroway said the Coyotes will revisit it next summer.
Doan spent is entire career playing for the Coyotes organization dating back to its days in Winnipeg (he played one season with the original Jets). During his career he appeared in 1,540 regular season games, scoring 402 goals, 570 assists and 972 total points. He is the team’s all-time leader in games played, goals, assists, total points, even strength goals, power play goals, and shots on goal.