Eric Staal named cover athlete, Chuck goes.. Really? Eric Staal? Really?

by: John -
It's not Rick Nash of my hometown Columbus Blue Jackets (sans GM currently) but the center from the Carolina Hurricanes will be gracing the cover of NHL 08. Staal led his team in point in the playoffs and helped the Hurricanes win their first championship last year. While the curse doesn't seem to follow NHL as much as it does Madden, I'm sure Chuck's hoping for something to end Mr. Staal's season soon. I'll throw in my requisite, Go Rangers.

Eric Staal Named Cover Athlete of EAs NHL 08

Carolina Hurricanes Stand-Out Adds EA SPORTS Cover to His 2007 World Championship Gold Medal

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announced today that Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal will be the cover athlete and spokesman for NHL® 08. At the age of 23 with just 4 NHL seasons under his belt, this promising young player has scored a combined 75 goals over the past 2 seasons, notched 100 points in 2006, and was voted into his first All-Star game in 2007. Already a core member of the Hurricanes, Staal led the team in points (28) during their successful 2006 Stanley Cup Playoff run that resulted in a Championship. Aside from his exceptional talent on the ice, Staal is also known as an avid gamer.

I am a huge fan of the NHL franchise and played NHL 07 fanatically, said Staal. I am honored to be named to the EA SPORTS family and the NHL 08 team.

Eric is the trailblazer in a family rich with hockey legacy; His brothers Marc (NY Rangers, 2005) and Jordan (Pittsburgh, 2006) were also first-round draft picks. His youngest brother, Jared, was drafted in the first round of the 2006 OHL Draft by Sudbury. The Thunder Bay, Ontario natives grew up playing together on an outdoor rink built for them by their father in their backyard. Eric played with his brother Jordan on the 2007 Canadian IIHF World Championship team that won gold against Finland in Moscow. Younger brothers Marc and Jared are teammates with the Ontario Hockey Leagues Sudbury Wolves.

Staal joins a long list of highly decorated athletes as the North American cover athlete of an EA SPORTS NHL videogame.

NHL Franchise   Cover Athlete
NHL 08   Eric Staal
NHL 07   Alexander Ovechkin
NHL 06   Vincent Lecavalier
NHL 2005   Marcus Naslund
NHL 2004   Joe Sakic
NHL 2003   Jarome Iginla
NHL 2002   Mario Lemieux
NHL 2001   Owen Nolan
NHL 2000   Chris Pronger
NHL 99   Eric Lindros
NHL 98   Peter Forsberg

NHL 97(a)

  John Vanbiesbrouck

(a) NHL 97 was the first iteration of the franchise to feature single cover athletes.

EA SPORTS pioneers in the Golden Age of hockey videogames continues to lead the charge in the next gen era with advancements in AI intelligence, innovative controls, online depth and an unmatched level of authenticity to the sport.

The revolutionary Skill Stick System evolves in NHL 08 and delivers an unparalleled level of control. An all-new deking system enables you to move the puck off your stick, to walk around a defender and give you space in front to challenge the goalie. Enhanced analog speed control and a new skating engine give you the precision and fluidity to play like you would on the ice.

NHL 08 will feature an exclusive AHL license for the first time, with all 29 teams from the primary development league for the NHL fully playable in game. The EA SPORTS NHL franchise is the #1 selling hockey game and the #1 selling sports game in Canada(b). NHL 08 is being developed under the EA SPORTS by EA Canada in Vancouver, B.C. The game will be available for the PLAYSTATION®3 system, PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 video game system from Microsoft, and PC. For more information, log onto www.nhl08.com. Media can find screenshots and video of the game at http://info.ea.com.

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