Patrick Kane will no longer appear on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 16

Jared Clinton
Jonathan Toews will now grace the cover of EA Sports NHL 16 by himself. (via EA NHL Sports/Twitter)

Amid the allegations and investigation involving Patrick Kane, EA Sports announced Wednesday they will be removing the Chicago Blackhawks right winger from the cover of the latest instalment in their NHL video game series.

“In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports NHL 16,” the company said in a statement.

EA Sports adopted the slogan, “Play Together. Win Together,” for NHL 16, and as such the cover was originally slated to feature Kane and teammate Jonathan Toews hoisting the Stanley Cup following the Blackhawks 2015 victory. The announcement of Kane and Toews as cover athletes was made at the NHL Awards ceremony, but Wednesday’s statement and release of a redesigned cover leaves Toews as the sole representative for the upcoming release.
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Whoops! EA Sports leaks San Diego Gulls jerseys in new NHL 16 video

Jared Clinton
EA Sports accidentally leaked the San Diego Gulls jerseys in a game trailer. (via EA Sports/YouTube)

Back in February, the Anaheim Ducks officially unveiled that their new San Diego-based AHL affiliate would take on the Gulls moniker that has been associated with hockey in the Southern Californian city for decades.

The name announcement came along with the unveiling of a logo, but fans have been waiting to get a glimpse of the jerseys since the Feb. 22 ceremony. Now, thanks to EA Sports and NHL 16, fans can get their first look at the Gulls’ new uniforms in a video hyping up the return of the NHL series’ famous EA Sports Hockey League game mode. Read more

Why NHL 16 will turn last year’s jeers into this year’s cheers

Matt Larkin
EA Sports' NHL 16 video game.

If EA Sports’ NHL 15 was a fine Italian sports car, gorgeous to look at but limited in versatility, think of NHL 16 as a fully-loaded luxury SUV. It still has plenty of flash, but you can do a whole lot more with it.

Summer 2014 marked EA’s first foray into eighth-generation console video gaming with its NHL series. It had a great run with the seventh generation’s PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, taking online hockey gaming to new levels of popularity and introducing deep, detailed individual player modes such as Be a Pro. It was time for the company to see what kind of hockey magic it could make with the PS4 and Xbox One.

Our eyes told us NHL 15, Gen 8’s guinea pig release, was beautiful. It came closer to photorealism than any other hockey video game in history. It maintained the smooth play control that has always been a hallmark of EA Sports franchise. Adding Doc Emrick and Ed Olczyk as commentators freshened up the presentation, too.

But ask diehard gamers about NHL 15 and most will tell you that, as great as the game look and felt, its many missing features almost overshadowed its cosmetic appeal. The game had no online team play mode when released, leading to fan outrage before the feature was patched in. It was missing the extremely popular EA Sports Hockey League, which let users create their own characters and join online leagues with all-human 6-on-6 play.

Sean Ramjagsingh, producer of the NHL series, understood fans’ frustration but knew it was a necessary evil for NHL 15 to be missing some features. Electronic Arts couldn’t roll out a powerful new game engine and risk glitches if it wasn’t ready for online play, and he knew the popular features like EASHL would return in later versions.

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New NHL 16 previews show off skating, gameplay balance

Jared Clinton
A new NHL 16 trailer shows Phil Kessel as a Pittsburgh Penguin. (via EA Sports/YouTube)

The release of EA Sports’ NHL 16 is officially two months away, and with Sept. 15 circled for gamers everywhere, the gameplay trailers are starting to roll out.

In the first official gameplay video since the trailer released at the Electronic Entertainment Expo video game conference, better known as E3, associate producer Ben Ross takes EA NHL fans through what they can expect when it comes to gameplay balance in the series’ latest installment.

Ross highlights the changes that have again been made to skating, something EA has focused on in several of the most recent NHL titles. This time the fine-tuning on skating promises to allow players to, “feel the true weight and momentum that comes with each stride.” There will also be new strafes included in the game, allowing players to better set up and execute plays. Take a look: Read more

NHL 16 features released, playoff beards to grow in full force

Jared Clinton
(via EA Sports/YouTube)

Video game fans and beard-lovers rejoice: when it comes to the latest instalment of EA Sports’ NHL video game series, your playoff run will include every last detail, down to big, bushy playoff beards.

As part of the yearly windfall of information about the NHL video game franchise that comes around the latter part of the post-season, EA Sports released the list of upcoming features for NHL 16 and among the list of game modes and features comes the improved ability to customize your skater, which includes setting how wild your playoff beard will grow. Read more

Blues’ Ryan Reaves pulls his own tooth out after a massive hit from Hawks’ Brent Seabrook

Ryan Reaves (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hockey is wonderful for a number of reasons, including spontaneous acts of amateur self-dentistry. Blues right winger Ryan Reaves provided the latest example of that phenomenon Sunday night after absorbing a huge hit from Hawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.

Reaves was drilled into the boards by Seabrook late in the second period of Chicago’s game against St. Louis, and when he made it back to the bench, he casually yanked out a tooth and handed it to the Blues trainer: Read more

Suspend him or suspend him: Vancouver’s Alex Burrows ejected after head shot on Preds’ Paul Gaustad

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa stands near Preds center Paul Gaustad, who had just been hit by Vancouver's Alex Burrows. (John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Just about every NHL media person working today will tell you it’s easy and often unfair to judge players’ actions from the comforts of the press box or our living rooms. We always have to bear that in mind when we’re talking about supplemental discipline. The game moves faster than any sport not contested on wheels, and there are times when players will seriously injure an opponent with no malice intended.

Then there are NHLers who “just happen” to be involved with an annually-increasing number of borderline dirty incidents in the same way Jason Statham just happens to make essentially the same action movie time and again. Which brings me to Alex Burrows.

The Canucks’ agitator was back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons Tuesday after this blindside hit to the head of Predators center Paul Gaustad got him a five-minute major and an ejection from Vancouver’s game against Nashville: Read more