Another momentous moment for the NHL and they deny themselves. Okay this isn’t ignoring the #Blacklivesmatter movement which fellow 4th liners have covered, this is a chance to grow the game amongst diehard NHL (Chel) fans who buy the game every year.
Recognize Greatness with #NHL21 available worldwide October 16th 🏒🎮
— EA SPORTS NHL (@EASPORTSNHL) August 24, 2020
Disappointing lack of advancement in play? Probably. Same gameplay with updated graphics and new micropurchase ability? Probably. Yet, these aren’t the biggest issues with this game. No, this is missing out on the opportunity to advertise one of the growing number of young talent at the NHL’s disposal. While it has been 14 years since Alexander Ovechkin has graced the cover of the title game and a lot has happened to increase his long list of feats and accomplishments this is not the right choice.
I am not one to just call out issues without offering a solution. We can take a look at the playoffs and play-in round to find a wealth of young talent to replace Ovechkin in this position.
With one of the mentioned improvements in the new installment of NHL 2021 being the Lacrosse/Michigan goal (along with the no-move Kucherov) why not have the game showcase the person who has popularized this move in the NHL, Andrei Svechnikov. While the Carolina Hurricanes lost in the first round of the playoffs, Svechnikov brought excitement to the season and showed creativity and personality for a young player.
Option two is a name who has been discussed by some (Carl, Erin Ambrose and a Nova Scotia resident) as the best player from the area! (Just kidding it is still Crosby.) Nathan MacKinnon is the lead horse on a Colorado Avalanche team that prior to Dallas series looked unstoppable and is must-watch TV. Drafted #1 overall in the 2013 draft MacKinnon has hit the 90 point in each of the last three seasons and the point differential between him and his closest teammate has him in the MVP race.
The last option I want to offer is fitting because he is the last line of defense for the Philadelphia Flyers. And that is the young netminder Carter Hart, the 22 year old has had an impressive season and in the Flyers first-round series against the Montreal Canadians recorded back to back shutouts.
Point being, there is a lot of young talent that needs to be amplified beyond their market and giving shine to the players will only help grow the NHL. Is there a player you think I left out? Tweet at the 4th Line Podcast and let us know!