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NHL 12 Update: Lemieux and Howe Confirmed as Final Legends

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Just minutes ago, the long awaited news finally dropped on EA’s NHL 12 Twitter Feed. Super Mario and Mr. Hockey are the final two Legends to be included in NHL 12. However, since EA’s official videos don’t allow for embedding. Expect an update in a few minutes when I find an embed-able version, which will be included below, along with some other thoughts on this final list of Legends in NHL 12.

Updated with video, and more…

Alright… well waiting for a video I can embed into this blog is taking longer than I expected… so in the mean time, let’s take a look at one other little tidbit reviled earlier today via NHL 12 Line Producer Sean Ramjagsingh’s Twitter. Today, he has been at X’11, which is a Xbox 360 exposition event, where several NHL players, both past and present have joined him to play some NHL 12. The interesting thing though, is a little before this event started, Sean threw up some more pictures of players to be featured on NHL 12’s main menu screen. This also gave us our first look at the “final” version of the main menu, which you can see below in the Gretzky picture he posted:

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Screenshot via Sean Ramjagsingh’s Twitter

Not like there is any kind of big news reviled here with this screenshot… I just thought it was interesting. As it’s the first look we’ve got at what the in-game menu will look like when we get our hands on the full game early next month. Expect the menu in the demo to look quite different though, as it will only feature three game modes.


Here we go… the much awaited official video from EA…

 

Thanks again to Shin547 for uploading this on YouTube so I could embed it


So now that all the cats are finally out of the bag… let us take a moment to step back and look at the entire list of Legends in NHL 12, in the order of which they were announced, and the primary teams they will be associated with in Hockey Ultimate Team…

1. Wayne Gretzky - Edmonton Oilers
2. Ray Bourque - Boston Bruins
3. Chris Chelios - Chicago Blackhawks
4. Steve Yzerman - Detroit Red Wings
5. Borje Salming - Toronto Maple Leafs
6. Jeremy Roenick - Chicago Blackhawks
7. Patrick Roy - Montreal Canadians
8. Mario Lemieux - Pittsburgh Penguins
9. Gordie Howe - Detroit Red Wings

That is quite the list… although I’ve already heard people complaining endlessly about Roenick’s inclusion among these Legends, as opposed to say, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier, or Jean Beliveau… among others. No doubt EA had some money issues when it came to licensing the rights to these players, which is the only reason I can think for them to have been left off. Hopefully though, as I have been saying, we can only hope that this feature will continue along with the franchise from here on out, until they finally have an entire team (or two) full of Legends. Although, in defense of JR, as I pointed out to a reader who made a comment on yesterday’s NHL 12 update early this morning… Roenick might not be up to “Legend” caliber when it comes to the majority of this list… but he is very much a Legend in the EA Sports NHL-franchise. Having been voted pretty high up on several “virtual athletes of the decade” lists, most notably by IGN.com, among other well-known video game websites and (now dead) magazines over the years.

I know there are plenty of people that are bummed out that this “Legends” thing was EA’s “big announcement” that they had been hinting at ever since day one of NHL 12 news and info. Personally, I think this is very awesome, and can’t wait to start playing around with some of these all-time greats in hockey. I also like that we will have to “unlock” them in our own Be a Pro careers, as that seems a little more rewarding that just having them all be there from the get go… at least for use in certain modes where they might really make a difference, like Be a GM. I’m also looking forward to the many “Legendary Milestones” that will be in the game, as the way we will have to unlock these Legends. That should be a very fun and interesting challenge this upcoming season… as well as getting to play though the careers of these Legends in the new Be a Legend mode, once we have unlocked them.

The first thing that I’m doing with my copy of the game though? Use some custom roster moves to put Yzerman and Howe on Detroit, and Chelios and Roenick on Chicago. They will be “locked”, but not on that All-Legend Team. Then I’m throwing on the Red Wings Winter Classic sweaters (which are finally in the game this year) and will have an epic rematch with Chi-town in the new Winter Classic game mode. Thinking back at the moment though… it’s extra sad now that Osgood has retired this year… otherwise, with the new goalie fights, I could also have a rematch of his classic fight with Roy… oh well.

Anyway, I’m going to stop ranting for now, and get this current update to this blog posted for people to read. Then I’m going to go about the task of breaking down who might be included in the “All-Legends” Team, which will feature these 9, plus several other current superstar players. Expect to hear more in a few hours with another update to this entry… unless I save it for later, perhaps Saturday… as there is more news expected from EA coming up, in the form of another blog about online game modes… which might be coming out later today or tomorrow. I’ll keep my eyes open though, and when that hits, I’ll bring it to you, along with my analysis of what it all might actually mean for the future of the EASHL and other online game modes in NHL 12.

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ea+sports+nhl+12, gordie+howe, mario+lemieux

Comments

Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

i was wondering why lemieux was being left off, especially since gretzky was one of the first to be shown

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 08/18/11 at 04:12 PM ET

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Wow, that just looks wrong seeing Lemieux in a Leafs jersey!

Posted by penguinsfan on 08/18/11 at 04:33 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

i was wondering why lemieux was being left off, especially since gretzky was one of the first to be shown - Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero

Well, he technically was, but he wasn’t. We got the first hints at him in the original teaser trailer for the Legends, which was the same case with Howe. Why EA chose the order that they did is beyond me, and why they gave us such obvious hints at certain players… while others, like Salming and Roenick were a total surprise out of left field.

Wow, that just looks wrong seeing Lemieux in a Leafs jersey! -Posted by penguinsfan

Yes. it is quite odd looking indeed. As would be the same for seeing Yzerman in any other jersey but the winged wheel. Although I rather liked EA’s idea for showing off the “put Legends on any team” bit with Stevie on Tampa Bay, alongside Stamkos.

That is going to be one of the really fun things about these Legends though, as fans of all teams will get to appreciate them if they so choose to do so. I’m sure plenty of Jets fan’s can’t wait to put JR back in the retro Winnipeg sweater… although that brings up a question that will probably remain unanswered until release… will Phoenix still have the retro Jets sweaters on their alternate jersey selections? As I imagine they would allow the same to be true of the current Winnipeg franchise…. who should also have the Thrasher’s uniforms as a part of their alternate set too…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/18/11 at 04:51 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Seeing Gordie Howe in a Wild jersey made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/18/11 at 05:09 PM ET

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Seeing Lemieux in another teams jerseys is just wrong. Not so much with Stevie Y because of the fact that he is the Bolts GM. Any team OTHER than Tampa or Detroit would be horrible.

Posted by Simon from Pittsburgh, PA on 08/18/11 at 05:50 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m nothing less than stunned that there’s no New York Ranger (Messier? Richter? Leetch?) or Philadelphia Flyer (Bobby Clarke?) included. I thought that the Original Six and the charter member thereof in terms of popularity would be included in the legends release, so I’m really surprised…

And no Bobby Orr or Jean Beliveau? The Rocket, Mr. Hockey, Number Four and the Great One are sort of hockey’s holy quadrangle, so that’s a bit of a jaw-dropper as well.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 08/18/11 at 06:02 PM ET

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Its obvious that a lot of players were left out, 9 spots is a really odd number for a “team”. I would have expected more like 12, two full forward and D lines and two goalies. How awesome would it be to get some old school goalies in there? Some old school masks or even mask-less…with the amount of times I hit the goalie in the mask in NHL 11 though we might have a few injuries…

Maybe this will go the way of Madden and give us all-time teams for each individual team. That would be fantastic.

Posted by pstumba on 08/18/11 at 06:38 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I’m nothing less than stunned that there’s no New York Ranger (Messier? Richter? Leetch?) or Philadelphia Flyer (Bobby Clarke?) included. I thought that the Original Six and the charter member thereof in terms of popularity would be included in the legends release, so I’m really surprised…

And no Bobby Orr or Jean Beliveau? The Rocket, Mr. Hockey, Number Four and the Great One are sort of hockey’s holy quadrangle, so that’s a bit of a jaw-dropper as well. - Posted by George Malik

Agreed George, which is why I had almost all of those players you just named on my early list of speculation… and all indications previous to a few days ago seemed to point to Orr being a lock… so it is kinda shocking that he isn’t included, along with a few of those other names.. Again, I just think it came down to time/money… and hopefully these wrongs will be righted next year… but in the meantime I’m still going to have plenty of fun with the included list this upcoming year.

As for the Original Six, I suppose you could technically count Gretzky for the Rangers as a big stretch… as I was really thinking it would have been Messier, if anyone, to represent them on this list.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/18/11 at 06:41 PM ET

Matt Fry's avatar

I’m a little bummed about the “big announcement”.  I’m a developer of players which is why I like Be a GM mode.  I love taking a virtually unknown player and making him awesome.  It won’t feel the same with Lemieux on my team.  Of course, that’s not to say I wouldn’t mind seeing Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Gretzky playing together.  Or putting Gretzky with Kovalchuk and Lemieux. 

I just think it’s a novelty that’ll wear off pretty quickly, at least for me.

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 08/18/11 at 06:45 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Its obvious that a lot of players were left out, 9 spots is a really odd number for a “team”

Some old school masks or even mask-less…with the amount of times I hit the goalie in the mask in NHL 11 though we might have a few injuries… Posted by pstumba

These 9 players aren’t really a “team” other than in the sense that they will all be included with current star players on a special Legends team.

There are already a few styles of old school masks in NHL 11 for goalies, which I expect will continue into 12 as well. No pro goalie uses them, obviously, but you can use them on your Be a Pro and EASHL goaltender. As far as injuries though, EA has already said that with this being the first year of having goalies be live and being able to get hit… they won’t be able to be injured, at least not online, forgot if they said if they could get injured offline or not. As they want to see how things go with this feature after the masses have had a good chance to mess with it more than EA ever could have the amount of time to do so.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/18/11 at 06:53 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

I’m a little bummed about the “big announcement”.  I’m a developer of players which is why I like Be a GM mode.  I love taking a virtually unknown player and making him awesome - Posted by Matt Fry

Well, we don’t really know yet how exactly this “Be a Legend” mode will work, at least when it comes to the little details. Perhaps the Legends will start off with lower stats, and have to be grown by playing, just like a normal Be a Pro. The same could go for Be a GM for all we know… there are still plenty of unanswered questions at the moment.

The one on my mind at the moment… will Howe be able to shoot both left and right handed, as was the case in real life… and if so… how would something like this work in-game?

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/18/11 at 06:58 PM ET

Marc Siciliano's avatar

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Howe looked AWESOME for this being a video game

Posted by Marc Siciliano on 08/18/11 at 07:12 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Maybe it’s just me, but I thought Howe looked AWESOME for this being a video game - Posted by Marc Siciliano

I think all of the Legends look amazing… EA really did a good job of getting their likeness near-perfect, with the exception of some minor equipment things, of which I’ll be editing in my own game to fit how I feel they should be represented… such as with Roy who I would like to see in his classic rookie year old-school brown vintage pads, plain white mask, and neck-guard… which is something they always seem to forget for the many goalies who always wear them. Then again, what else would you expect from a goalie junkie such as myself?

I’m also hoping that each Legend will have a few signature animations or two exclusive to them… such as Lemieux’s super-reach, Roy’s glove save flair, and Howe’s vicious elbow, for a few examples.

I can’t wait to get my hands on them and see what all their various ratings are, and how well they will play with the new anticipation AI in place, among the other new features… sigh… Tuesday, when the demo drops… seems so far away at the moment… but I can’t wait. I’ll be even more ecstatic when (or if - to be realistic) my review-copy from EA shows up.

I haven’t been this excited for the release of a new NHL game in a very long time, if ever, considering I also get to cover so much of this exciting news and info here on KK! I’m still pretty amazed at the amount of attention these updates have gotten, and honestly couldn’t be happier about it all. So my thanks to all of the readers who validate my existence here each and every day!

Even though I know the game is really just going to make my job here even harder, as it’s going to be tough to pull myself away from it at times to cover other hockey things. No complaints though… as I couldn’t have dreamt up a better position to be in that the one I currently am. smile

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/18/11 at 09:21 PM ET

Luongo-is-my-hero's avatar

chelios and roenick are very questionable additions.  There are a ton of other players that could have taken their place.  Bobby Hull and Orr to name a few.

Posted by Luongo-is-my-hero on 08/19/11 at 01:42 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.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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