In an ideal world, a sports video game’s multiple season mode – whether you call it Be a GM, Dynasty Mode or Franchise Mode – should be engaging even if you simulate the games.
While other series get Spike Lee to write scripts for storylines in modes or go in-depth in other ways, EA’s NHL series has been a little bare bones.
Honestly, when NHL 16 tried to incorporate locker room politics with chemistry considerations, it mostly fell flat.
So, it’s important to keep optimism guarded … but NHL 17’s revamped mode – now named Franchise Mode rather than Be a GM – sure looks promising, as you can see from the video above this post’s headline.
While previous versions involved owner’s expectations, they seem a lot more detailed. Some are more profit-oriented while others want team success. Their patience for rebuilds also range, which could be fun if it means you’ll have to weigh immediate improvement vs. better long-term planning.
As we discussed before, relocation is possible.
Dynamic Attendance seems interesting, especially in the way it might prompt fans of various teams to further claims that certain fans merely hop on bandwagons:
Going on a winning streak will bring in more casual fans, having a hardcore fan base will minimize fans deciding not to show up if you are on a losing streak. Having a high-profile team or a division rival can bring in extra walk up fans, but playing against a basement dweller in the standings or pricing your tickets too high can drive away potential attendees.
Many of us enjoy turning a moribund franchise into a winner in these video games, so adding more interesting variables could really make for a better simulation.
You’ll be able to tweak ticket prices and promotions, meaning you can have Johnny Gaudreau bobblehead nights and enjoy the corny jokes that would come with them. (“It’s to scale!”)
Different people play games for different experiences. Some want to be a general manager, others want to go deep into the card-collecting HUT mode or play as a single player in EASHL.
If NHL 17 can make big improvements with Franchise Mode, it could really appeal to management types who might not even enjoy the actual gameplay.
We’ll see if it works out, but the potential is there.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.
Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.
Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.
Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.
Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.
The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.
Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.
After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.
Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.
Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race
MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.
But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.
“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”
Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.
“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”
Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.
Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.
Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.
All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken
SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.
Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.
The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.
Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.
Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.