EA Sports announced that Tampa Bay Lightning sniper Steven Stamkos will be the cover star for their next hockey video game NHL ’12. This breaks the run of Chicago Blackhawks stars who graced the series’ covers in the last two years (Jonathan Toews for NHL ’11; Patrick Kane for NHL ’10).
One of the appealing by-products of the post-lockout era’s surge in young stars is their familiarity with video games. Most of them have probably grown up playing hockey video games; one can only imagine the ribbing a player might get for having a pitiful speed rating. (Toews, Kane and Stamkos aren’t much older than the seminal NHL ’94 title , after all.)
Stamkos ranks as one of those guys who played hockey video games growing up. In fact, he admitted that it was often on his wish list at Christmas time and he excitedly bought the first NHL title that featured his likeness.
“I was a big gamer, especially as a kid,” Stamkos said. “I asked for it every Christmas. You dream of playing in the NHL one day but you never really dream of being on the cover of the NHL video games, especially the most popular one. My friends are just as excited.”
Stamkos said that he doesn’t know his player rating just yet, but noticed some flaws in the game of his polygonal counterpart.
“My faceoffs weren’t very good in the game, so maybe I’ll take a hint to get better [in that area],” Stamkos said. “I haven’t checked out the ratings system yet, but usually when you’re on the cover you get a good one.”
Every now and then, a cover player doesn’t have an outstanding rating in a hockey video game, but you usually have to be at an elite level to grace a game cover in the first place.
“Get ready, the Stanley cup is coming to town!” Crosby confirmed in the tweet sent late Tuesday night. “I will be taking Lord Stanley to the streets Monday August 7th in the Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day parade.”
The parade, part of annual events that celebrate Halifax’s birthday, also happens to fall on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain’s 30th birthday.
Natal Day chairman Greg Hayward said he expects another 25,000 people will be lining the parade route on top of the roughly 40,000 usual attendees.
“It’s extremely exciting to think that we’re going to have Sid and the Cup in our Natal Day parade,” Hayward said Wednesday.
Crosby has shown off the Stanley Cup twice before in his hometown of Cole Harbour, just outside Dartmouth, in 2009 and 2016.
Last July, Crosby carried the Cup in the back of a pickup that made its way to an arena in Cole Harbour as thousands of cheering fans looked on in sweltering heat.
Arbitration hearing looming for Arvidsson, who broke out in big way last year
“We are pleased to have Colton as part of our group for the next five seasons,” said GM Doug Armstrong in a release. “He has made tremendous progress over the last two years and possesses all the tools to be a very good NHL defenseman.”
Obviously, the Blues paid a little more on this contract, but that’s because they were able to “buy” some of Parayko’s free-agent years.
The 24-year-old just completed his second season with the Blues. He managed to four goals, 35 points and 32 penalty minutes in 81 games.
Parayko also saw his average ice-time increase from his first year to his second year, as he played just over 21 minutes per game in 2016-17.
On top of his two solid seasons in St. Louis, he also opened some eyes at this year’s World Hockey Championship, where he had three goals and seven points in six games for Team Canada. He averaged 24 minutes of ice-time during the tournament, and Canada went on to win silver.