What would the Anaheim Ducks Alumni squad look like if EA kept players unique to one team? We’re looking back on 20 former players to represent this unit.
It’s early April, and usually, at this point, hockey fans would be looking forward to the start of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with the regular season coming to an end. Of course, Anaheim Ducks fans would be a mix of excited because this excruciating season is over, at least looking forward to an exciting playoff ahead. However, as we enter the month, the NHL is still suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the population.
In this time with no hockey for the foreseeable future (all sports to be exact), fans are left to their own devices to keep themselves entertained during this time. And while there still hours of highlights and analysis out there to get your hockey fix, a common theme is to embrace the Esports community.
From other leagues having player tournaments that allow players to face off against one another allowing the fans to spectate, to other fans simply sitting down and playing the games themselves, people are using the power of video games to keep themselves entertained. The game that most hockey fans can commonly relate to is the EA Sports NHL franchise who released their 2019-20 season addition globally in September.
Many people enjoy the game for its different game modes, including Hockey Ultimate Team (HUT) and the World of Chel where the user is able to play with the larger community online. However, some people (definitely me) do prefer still playing the offline game modes where you are able to sit down and play as your preferred team. Modes such as Franchise or Season, allow the user to take their preferred team, go through multiple seasons, restructuring the team to win multiple Stanley Cups. EA has received criticism over the years for not making many changes to these game modes, however, in NHL 20 they did add a small factor to potentially make your experience more interesting.
In EA Sports NHL 19, the creators brought in NHL Alumni (or for the simplicity sake ‘Legends’) into the game. However, users were restricted by only being able to use these players on specific Alumni teams offline, or play forever to be able to afford to acquire them in HUT. For NHL 20, EA decided to have ‘Legends’ be used in multiple offline modes and implemented Alumni teams for 33 NHL franchises.
For reasons of only being in the league for two years at this point, a Vegas alumni team was not part of the group, but EA brought back the now-defunct; Quebec Nordiques, Minnesota North Stars, and Hartford Whalers, which was enjoyed by hockey historians.
As far as the rosters go, pretty much every team has a maxed-out attribute for at least one category of Offense, Defense, and Goaltending. As a Ducks fan, it is much more enjoyable to use a 93 overall Teemu Selanne than a 77 overall Troy Terry, and as a long time Anaheim Ducks fan, I do enjoy seeing all these players who I grew up watching and even playing in some of the older additions of the EA franchise.
Unfortunately, EA has only implemented a select amount of players into the game, for reasons that could include not having the player rights or even a player just not wanting to be apart of the game. While it is fun getting to play with guys such as Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe, there are still large omissions from the game such as icons Bobby Orr and Eric Lindros.
With a select amount of players, you are going to see quite a bit of duplication of players on different teams. There is a good example of this on the Anaheim Ducks Alumni roster. As great of a player Jari Kurri was, the 1997 version of Kurri who played one season with the team should not be a matching 92 overall as any of the versions that saw him as Wayne Gretzky’s right-hand man with the Oilers of the 80s.
But, in the game, you will see this version of Kurri on the Ducks’ Alumni roster, making him one of the teams better players. Other players such as Adam Oates and Brian Bellows also fall into this category of once-great players who played with the Ducks in the late stages of their career.
It is still in relatively early stages that the EA team has brought legends back into the game, and with new years we could see them continue to add new old faces to this platform as well as adjusting teams. Today’s article is going to dive into what an updated Alumni team would look like if it was constructed of players whose contributions were unique to the Anaheim Ducks.