Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Doug Miller on 08/12/11 at 06:55 AM ET
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.
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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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