Last spring, Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane pulled off quite the feat. Sure, there was that Stanley Cup title in which they both figured prominently -- Toews winning the Conn Smythe and Kane potting the Cup-winner -- but in addition to that championship, the duo also made some history when Toews was named the cover athlete for EA SPORTS NHL '11, marking the first time that teammates took the honor in back-to-back years. Kane had graced the cover of EA SPORTS NHL '10 with his trademark mouthpiece hanging out between his teeth.
No one can say for certainty if Patrick Sharp or Marian Hossa will give the Blackhawks an EA cover hat trick, or if someone such as Boston's Tim Thomas could be the second straight cover athlete to receive the honor after lifting the Cup for the first time.
But it will be somebody. And at the 2011 NHL Awards, we'll all find out who.
For the first time since EA SPORTS began featuring specific cover athletes on its NHL video game franchise in 1997, the company will be announcing its NHL '12 cover athlete on Wednesday, June 22 at the 2011 NHL Awards, which are being held at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC in Canada). The announcement will be with a video presentation during the Awards show, which is being hosted for the second time by comedian Jay Mohr.
Past cover athletes have ranged from rising stars such as Kane and Toews, who as a nominee for the Selke Trophy this season is the only past cover subject to also have a chance to take home hardware from the ceremony, to current and likely Hall of Famers such as Mario Lemieux, Peter Forsberg and Chris Pronger.
Previously, EA SPORTS' NHL series had still photos of game action on the packaging until it began featuring individual players in 1997 with then-Panthers goalie John Vanbiesbrouck.