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NHL 12 Cover Athlete: Steven Stamkos

The NHL 12 cover

The 2011 iteration of the annual National Hockey League awards show, held in inexplicably a desert Las Vegas, Nevada, was filled with embarrassments. “Comedian” Jay Mohr made a bunch of unfunny comments, two ladies mispronounced Martin St. Louis’ name (it’s “Mar-TAN Saint lou-EE“, not “Mar-TIN Saint lou-IS“. It’s a French name.), and that horrible “Like a G6” band, the Far East Movement, played “music”. Oh, and some hockey players got trophies.

Besides that, Electronic Arts revealed the coverboy of their yearly NHL simulation: Steven Stamkos, the young cetreman of the Tampa Bay Lightning (personally, I was more partial to my own Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins, but at least I get this nice fake cover to comfort me).

Anyway, Stamkos was selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Lightning, and since then the Lightning have improved drastically, coming within a hair of knocking out my Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finals (thank god they didn’t). In the 2010-2011 season, Stamkos played in all 82 games, scoring 45 goals and netting 46 assists for 91 points. He had an even better 2009-2010 season, scoring 51 goals and 44 assists for 95 points.

Since 2K’s NHL series seems to be dying a slow and horrible death on the Wii, EA’s NHL series will be the only PS3 hockey sim for the second straight year. As Madden has shown us all, without competition between two developers developing yearly sports titles, stagnation in the yearly game occurs. Here’s hoping that 2K can come back and compete with EA.

North American NHL cover athletes since only one player began appearing on the cover:

NHL 97: John Vanbiesbrouck, Goalie, Florida Panthers
NHL 98: Peter Forsberg, Center, Colorado Avalanche
NHL 99: Eric Lindros, Center, Philadelphia Flyers
NHL 2000: Chris Pronger, Defense, St. Louis Blues
NHL 2001: Owen Nolan, Right-Wing, San Jose Sharks
NHL 2002: Mario Lemieux, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins
NHL 2003: Jarome Iginla, Right-Wing, Calgary Flames
NHL 2004: Dany Heatley, Wing, Atlanta Thrashers (original release), Joe Sakic, Center, Colorado Avalanche (re-release)
NHL 2005: Markus Naslund, Left-Wing, Vancouver Canucks
NHL 06: Vincent Lecavalier, Center, Tampa Bay Lightning
NHL 07: Alexander Ovechkin, Left-Wing, Washington Capitals
NHL 08: Eric Staal, Center, Carolina Hurricanes
NHL 09: Dion Phaneuf, Defense, Calgary Flames
NHL 10: Patrick Kane, Right-Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
NHL 11: Jonathan Toews, Center, Chicago Blackhawks
NHL 12: Steven Stamkos, Center, Tampa Bay Lightning

For more awesome fake NHL covers, check out this guy over at PicturePush.