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NHL 12 Overnight Update: The First Three Official Legends

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In what was fairly foreseeable, EA Sports in partnership with GameTrailers TV revealed yet another short teaser about the “Legends” coming to NHL 12. Saved for the very last segment of GTTV’s half-hour block on Spike TV. This confirmed a few highly suspected things, and also killed other possible rumors… but did give us some solid new info for sure.

Since the video has yet to be posted online as of the moment of me writing this sentence (give it 10 minutes). I can tell you this much. Gretzky, Bourque, and Chelios were all officially confirmed. As were the facts that there will be an all-new “Legends Mode”, that Legends will be able to be added to any team, and will also be featured in HUT.

Alright, now that the video has been posted up (see told you). I can get into further analysis. Although I’d also like to note that, when I first pulled up the trailer officially at gametrailers.com it was sitting at “0” views. Most likely because everyone else is over on EA’s NHL Forums (of death) whining and complaining like little children. Mostly because EA didn’t spill all of the info on this subject, or because they just don’t think it’s that big of a deal… yada, yada. The same old “we hate EA, yet we continue to support them by buying their games and then talking about everything we hate about them on these forums” contradiction I continue to laugh at.

Of course EA didn’t spill everything about their “big announcement”... we are going to get information on this “Legends” stuff bit by bit. Which is how it should be… as we are talking about some of the greatest players of all time here… returning to hockey… albeit in video game form. Personally, I think it’s pretty exciting, and pretty damn cool, as a life-long hockey fan. One who actually appreciates and highly respects the many, now legendary players who paved the way for where the sport is today.

Anyway, here are the goods.


I’m not going to take the time to break this all down, as it isn’t as mysterious and the very first teaser was, and this time we got some hard facts, so let’s discuss those instead.

First lets note that the announcement of the all-new “Legends Mode” features a clip of Gretzky feeding a pass to Taylor Hall for a goal. All while wearing classic CCM Oilers sweaters no less. Which leads me to ponder about what exactly this mode might consist of, other than the obvious of getting to incorporate these Legends onto a current team of your choice… although in exactly what capacity, and to what extent, remains unknown. My best guess is that this mode will allow you to play through the career of a Legend on position lock, albeit on a current team’s roster.

Next, let’s take a closer look at Chris Chelios’ HUT card, or at least the one side of which they showed of it, the stats. Chelios is listed as an 86 overall, with a potential of 88 overall, although as those of us that have played HUT know, with the right cards, you can crack that 88. Which answers a few questions. Legends will have stats that are realistic to them in the prime of their careers, but will still be eligible for some further “training” in HUT. As it should also be pointed out that Legends, at least in HUT, will have an affiliation with their primary team. Which in the case of Chelios, makes sense, as his time in Chicago was the “prime” of his career… although that statement will probably upset a few Habs fans… because it is a debatable discussion of Montreal vs Chicago. This post however, does not have time or need for that, as both sides could make valid arguments.

Given the nature of this announcement, and the style of the trailers for it thus far, most notably the shot at the very end, where we see the silhouettes of a total of 9 players. Three of which have been now been “officially” announced. I’m guessing they will reveal the other six, three at a time, over the course of two additional videos in the coming week(s?) before the official game demo gets released. Which pretty much officially kills the rumor of an entire “Legendary Team”. Which isn’t really a huge surprise to me, as EA has to pay these players in the form of a license for the rights to use their likeness in the game. I’m sure they would have loved to do an entire team, but it’s most likely a time/money issue.

With that notion of a “Legendary Team” now looking pretty dead, let’s take what we do know into consideration, as the rest of those six players should be pretty easy to guess at. Let’s start from the top given the three we already know and then go from there.

1. Wayne Gretzky
2. Ray Bourque
3. Chris Chelios

Considering what little teaser footage has been shown, the next 3 are pretty much no-brainers.

4. Mario Lemieux
5. Gordie Howe
6. Patrick Roy

Super Mario and Mr. Hockey are obvious because they have both pretty much already been shown, with the Lemieux clip recreating his move around Bourque, being shown in both trailers thus far. Much like Howe, who was rather obvious from the first teaser trailer. Not to mention both of these players have in-game achievements based on accomplishments they had in their own careers, as does Gretzky. Which is why I’m adding the following player to my “duh” list.

7. Bobby Orr

Because he also has a few in-game achievements based on his legendary career. However, if you look at the silhouettes, at the end of both videos, there is very clearly a goaltender on the right hand side, which I have little doubt will be Patrick Roy. Who will no doubt represent Montreal as a “Legend”. Which might have played into the whole Chelios on Montreal/Chicago debate, as EA likely didn’t want to get too heavy on more than one team, and they will already probably have two Boston defensemen. I also find it likely that these 9 Legends will consist of a combination of 5 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender.

Which makes putting the final list of players together extremely tricky… at least when it comes to the last two spots, likely for forwards. As we’ve got our 3 d-men, and 1 goalie figured out… Bourque, Chelios, Orr, and Roy. So that leaves the final two spots up for much debate… assuming EA wants to try and represent as many teams as possible here, while still having this short player list be deserving of “Legend” status.

Also, as my keen observation has noticed by carefully looking at these silhouettes… two or possibly three (the shadow on the far left is debatable) of them clearly are not wearing helmets… likely Howe and Orr… but if there is indeed a third “old school” player… then the list gets larger for debate.

So with that, here is my short list of more “modern” forwards, along with likely team, who might grab one of those final two spots…

- Mark Messier (New York Rangers)
- Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche)
- Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings)
- Mike Bossy (New York Islanders)

Taking the “helmet” issue into account, here are some old school alternatives, of which there could only be one included, assuming I’m right about Howe and Orr…

- Jean Beliveau (Montreal Canadians)
- Bobby Hull (Chicago Blackhawks)
- Maurice Richard (Montreal Canadians)
- Bobby Clarke (Philadelphia Flyers)

Which again perhaps plays into why Chelios was put with Chicago over Montreal (aside from the debate about when his “prime” was)... with the likely inclusion of Roy for the Habs, and the other likelihood of having both Bourque and Orr for Boston… one of these other Canadians may indeed be on that list. However… I really have no idea who might grab those last two, seemingly wide open spots… only time, and more teasers, will tell for sure.

 

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chris+chelios, ea+sports+nhl+12, ray+bourque, wayne+gretzky

Comments

Hank1974's avatar

It won’t make a difference if the human player and CPU can still do insane dekes and thread passes with 4th-line players.

These legends won’t stick out compare do to anyone else.

I really hope that EA did a better job with player separation this year. In years past, it was abysmal as I barely noticed a difference between a team’s 1st line and 4th line.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/12/11 at 10:24 AM ET

steph's avatar

At first, thank you for your reports. i really enjoy the readings from a fellow NHL gamer.

i like the approach EA did with NHL 12, some work on the flip-flop goalies, enhanced AI, multiple EASHL player presets etc. .
The Legend announcement was a little bummer though, there are some more things that they could work on. But they always seem to have a need to bring that 1 little fancy
thing, not so many people care about.

What really frustrates me:
I play in Online Leagues since many years, started on PC and we moved on to the XBOX360 several years ago.
We have league members from all over germany, switzerland and austria. Once a year we meet and have a few beers, watching NHL games and talk hockey. We play a 1 vs. 1 season and 2 teams play OTS, one very good Elite team, one mediocre fun team.
Since 2 years, online league mode is broken. the moment a roster update is submitted by EA, you can’t play in the existing online league, because it has the older rosters.
So, we have to create a new league with every roster update and save the stats manually (with almost 60 regular season games for each team…).
Due to this bug we prohibit trading between teams, because the following roster update would ruin it all again. It ruins abit of the manager part that could be possible.

Overall, we’re very happy with the game anyway, 1 vs. 1 games were great, presentation is great, EASHL is fun (only if you have a full team, the CPU defenders are worthless…)  and, but the bugged league mode is something that really annoys the hell out of us.

Keep up the good job.

Posted by steph from Bonn, Germany on 08/12/11 at 11:27 AM ET

Avatar

I’m going to be pissed if Walt Poddubny isn’t one of the legends.

Posted by Geno71 on 08/12/11 at 12:50 PM ET

squirrely's avatar

I think they have to include more than 9 legends, if you put Chelios up there as a legend, were does that leave a guy like larry Murphy or Paul Coffey?  How could you not have Sakic, Sundin, Yzerman, Gartner, Hulls and the other greats.  I guess you need a limit, but 9 seems like an extremely short list.

Posted by squirrely from Dirty Jersey on 08/12/11 at 02:27 PM ET

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I’d be shocked if they didn’t include at least one Leafs legend in there.  Way too large of a fan base to completely ignore.  Maybe someone like Sittler?  Keon?

Posted by Routs from Edmonton on 08/12/11 at 02:39 PM ET

Avatar

One of the achieements is “the russian rocket” by completing a skate to stick move in a shootout…so guess what!

PAVELLLLL BUREEEEE baby

Posted by BryceNukem on 08/12/11 at 02:47 PM ET

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im gonna be pissed if they don’t make Kris Draper one of the legends

Posted by happy from Windsor ontario on 08/12/11 at 03:01 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Alright, now that I have gotten my sleep, let me address your many issues and points my dear readers….

These legends won’t stick out compare do to anyone else. Posted by Hank1974

I disagree, having just recently started a new BaP career on NHL 11, as a LW Sniper, I ended up getting drafted by the Pens 20th overall. Which landed me on a line with Crosby, and for once, I felt like I was actually playing with something close to a competent Human player as opposed to a CPU. No doubt, due to Crosby’s high stat ratings.

The Legends are going to have stats that realistically reflect them in the prime of their careers. With most of them likely to be around (or better than) Crosby’s stats. So yeah, considering that was noticeable to me in NHL 11, I can’t even imagine how much better things will be with the new Anticipation AI in place in NHL 12.

-

As for your comments, steph, I happen to agree, and EA really needs to fix that stupid bug which cripples online versus leagues. Hopefully it has been noted, considering the amount of players in the community who are affected by it, and will be fixed in NHL 12.

I guess you need a limit, but 9 seems like an extremely short list. Posted by squirrely

As I mentioned in the post, I’m sure they would have loved to include more Legends, probably an entire team’s worth. It just comes down to their short development cycle, and money issues, as these rights have to be licensed. Hopefully this whole thing isn’t just a one-time-deal in NHL 12, and we will see this list of Legends grow with continued installments in the series.

I’d be shocked if they didn’t include at least one Leafs legend in there.  Way too large of a fan base to completely ignore.  Maybe someone like Sittler?  Keon? Posted by Routs

If there were to be a Leafs Legend, I’d put my money on Mats Sundin. No offense to the rest, but that’s the first name that jumps to my mind.

One of the achieements is “the russian rocket” by completing a skate to stick move in a shootout…so guess what! PAVELLLLL BUREEEEE baby Posted by BryceNukem

Yeah, I noticed that when reading the achievements list too… however, unlike the Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, and Orr related achievements, “The Russian Rocket” doesn’t have his number in gold as the picture listed with the achievement, like the others do. Even with that said, it wouldn’t shock me that much if Bure was indeed one of those last two mystery forward spots I can’t quite seem to put my finger on… yet.

im gonna be pissed if they don’t make Kris Draper one of the legends Posted by happy

Well, perhaps I can appease you with my gut feeling that Gordie Howe will (or should at least) end up with the highest overall rating of any of these Legends. That isn’t the Wings fan in me talking either, this is the logical part of my brain. As overall rating is determined by every single stat category… and Howe has one thing on his side that Gretzky and Lemieux don’t… the ability to kick ass, quite literally. As was shown off by his not-yet official reveal in the first teaser, where he took Milan Lucic down.

Really though… if we are talking about all of these Legends in the prime of their careers, few could argue that Mr. Hockey dominated the game in his day, and could pass nearly as well as The Great One, and had just as good of a scoring touch as Super Mario did… which is why he earned his legendary nickname… because Gordie Howe was the complete hockey package, adding his ability to be an enforcer, as well as a goal-scorer and a playmaker.


Also, in some late afternoon news I got via my inbox this morning. I am now officially on “the list” of people in play for review-copies of NHL 12. Apparently these are in high demand and short supply though, so I cannot make any guarantees, but here’s to hoping I get mine with enough time to get a proper full-review written up by release date.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/12/11 at 08:17 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

all-new “Legends Mode” features a clip of Gretzky feeding a pass to Taylor Hall for a goal. All while wearing classic CCM Oilers sweaters no less.

1) It’s weird seeing Gretzky’s tuck with a CCM logo next to it and not the Nike or Sandow, which are the one’s he wore.
2) Hall should change his number and stop wearing 4. I don’t care if he got Lowe’s blessing. It’s the right thing to do. Lowe’s one of the franchise’s all-time greats and dserves to have that number up there with Gretzky, Kurri, Coffey, Messier, Anderson & Fuhr. Hall of Fame or not.

Sorry about the off topis comments.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/12/11 at 08:35 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

It’s weird seeing Gretzky’s tuck with a CCM logo next to it and not the Nike or Sandow, which are the one’s he wore. Posted by Lindas1st

Agreed, but keep in mind that EA has the license from CCM, and not the others, hence the reason for this being what it is.

Don’t worry about the comments, they are still pretty much on-topic for this discussion… as opposed to one of my other NHL 12 updates, which ended up turning into a gigantic Console vs PC debate…. haha.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/12/11 at 08:52 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Agreed, but keep in mind that EA has the license from CCM, and not the others, hence the reason for this being what it is.

Yeah I figured as much. But those CCM sweaters as a whole look completely different than the Nike ones did. From the orange trim around the neckline which isn’t on the Nike jerseys. To the thick stitching they used to make it look like the Numbers were tripled layered. I was a big Gretzky/Oiler fan from the 80’s and always notice these things when they make throwbacks or other ventures like this Legend mode on NHL ‘12.
Just sayin’, thanx Doug.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/12/11 at 10:09 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

the thick stitching they used to make it look like the Numbers were tripled layered Posted by Lindas1st

That was my personal favorite part of those sweaters

Also, remember, I was born during Gretzky’s prime (87) and didn’t pick up hockey until a few years later… but I have indeed done more than my fair share of hockey-homework for someone my age.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the sweaters in NHL 12, as you’ll be able to change them game to game like always. Plus, they have already showed off a handful of cool ones coming in this year, like the retro NJ green/red sweaters - which I’ve heard rumors of NJ wearing for a game sometime around Christmas this year - considering I’ve seen a “real” picture of them, and they are the newer style.

Not to mention that they are finally throwing in the classic Mighty Ducks sweaters, which will bring back fond memories for me, and I’ll probably slap them on Anaheim every time I play them.

The first thing I’m doing though? Slapping Gordie Howe in a Detroit Winter Classic sweater, which are FINALLY in the game, after endless requests. Unless they have also added some really old school Wings jerseys, with the old logo and lack of name on the back…. which I haven’t heard any rumors on… but that would be very nice. As would be a “no helmet” option in the Winter Classic mode itself… oh how I can only dream for now…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/13/11 at 03:48 AM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Not to mention that they are finally throwing in the classic Mighty Ducks sweaters,

Cool.
How about the Ducks’ ‘95-96 alternates. You know the cartoonish ones with “Wild Wing” bursting up thopugh the ice? I know it’s always on the top of worst hockey jerseys lists, but I have always really liked it. Except for the illegible numbers.
BTW, good talk Doug. Thanx for the info.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 08/13/11 at 01:28 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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