NHL '11 video: Expanded trades, plus the ability to play with CHL teams

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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.”

We’ve discussed the game quite a bit already, but let’s take a look at a video that showcases some of the changes in the game’s GM Mode.

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.

(H/T to Operation Sports.)