Electronic Arts Inc.  has announced that starting today, fans around the world have the opportunity to shape the face of the EA SPORTS™ NHL ® franchise, by participating in the first ever EA SPORTS NHL® Cover Vote Campaign – sponsored by BlackBerry® and hosted on NHL.com . The voting process will consist of two preliminary rounds, followed by a 16-player bracket as a field of 60 NHL players is narrowed down to one. The winning player will be unveiled as the EA SPORTS NHL® 13 Cover Athlete at the 2012 NHL Awards™ on June 20 at the Wynn Las Vegas in Las Vegas.
The first round of competition pits teammate against teammate and starts today and runs until April 11, the first day of the 2012 Stanley Cup® Playoffs. Fans can vote for their favorite player to represent their team in the next round.
NHL 13 Cover Athlete Voting Schedule:
- March 29 – April 11: Round of 60: one representative from each team plus two wild card selections advance, which will be made by EA
- April 12 – April 22: 32-Player Leaderboard: fans vote for their favorite 16 candidates; top 16 vote-getters advance
- April 24 – June 4: Round of 16: single-elimination playoff bracket decides NHL 13 cover athlete
Fans worldwide are able to vote an unlimited number of times and are encouraged to vote as often as possible at NHL.com/CoverVote  to ensure their favorite player advances through the rounds. Fans can also show their support by tweeting their picks using #NHL13Cover on Twitter. Visit the EA SPORTS NHL Facebook page for insider updates and additional content.
“The EA SPORTS NHL Franchise has had a rich tradition of outstanding cover athletes including Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup Winners, NHL All-Stars and Hall of Fame Members,” said David Le, Marketing Director, EA SPORTS. “With fans selecting the cover athlete for NHL 13 they now control who gets to join that prestigious club.”
“Being the EA SPORTS NHL cover athlete is an honor that is coveted by many NHL players,” said Adam Larry, NHLPA Director of Licensing. “With the EA SPORTS NHL 13 cover athlete being selected by the fans, the honor is now even greater. This vote campaign will be exciting for both the players and the fans, as they will be engaging online, and through social media, while the bracket narrows towards the fans’ selection for the cover of NHL 13.”
The star-studded list of candidates participating in the campaign features NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin, 2011 Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry, NHL All-Stars and some of the most popular players in the NHL. The complete list of matchups can be found below:
|Bruins||Tuukka Rask vs. Tyler Seguin||Lightning||Steven Stamkos vs. Victor Hedman|
|Canadiens||P.K. Subban vs. Tomas Plekanec||Maple Leafs||Phil Kessel vs. Tyler Bozak|
|Capitals||John Carlson vs. Brooks Laich||Panthers||Stephen Weiss vs. Tomas Fleischmann|
|Devils||Ilya Kovalchuk vs. Adam Larsson||Penguins||Evgeni Malkin vs. Marc-Andre Fleury|
|Flyers||Claude Giroux vs. Scott Hartnell||Rangers||Henrik Lundqvist vs. Brad Richards|
|Hurricanes||Eric Staal vs. Jeff Skinner||Sabres||Derek Roy vs. Thomas Vanek|
|Islanders||John Tavares vs. Michael Grabner||Senators||Erik Karlsson vs. Jason Spezza|
|Jets||Evander Kane vs. Andrew Ladd|
|Avalanche||Matt Duchene vs. Gabriel Landeskog||Kings||Anze Kopitar vs. Drew Doughty|
|Blackhawks||Patrick Sharp vs. Duncan Keith||Oilers||Jordan Eberle vs. Taylor Hall|
|Blue Jackets||R.J. Umberger vs. Ryan Johansen||Predators||David Legwand vs. Pekka Rinne|
|Blues||T.J. Oshie vs. David Perron||Red Wings||Pavel Datsyuk vs. Jimmy Howard|
|Canucks||Henrik Sedin vs. Alex Burrows||Sharks||Logan Couture vs. Brent Burns|
|Coyotes||Shane Doan vs. Keith Yandle||Stars||Loui Eriksson vs. Jamie Benn|
|Ducks||Corey Perry vs. Jonas Hiller||Wild||Mikko Koivu vs. Niklas Backstrom|
|Flames||Mikael Backlund vs. Matt Stajan|
“The announcement of the cover athlete has become an event unto itself, and every year we look to grow the platform and innovate around the launch,” said Keith Wachtel, Senior Vice President Integrated Sales, NHL. “The creation of the NHL 13 Cover Vote campaign, sponsored by BlackBerry, does just that by building an exciting new platform for players to connect with fans while bringing together two of our valued partners.”
NHL 13 is currently in development at EA Canada in Burnaby, and has not yet been rated by the ESRB.