With the NHL season over half of the way over and the playoffs right around the corner it is time to start looking at possible cover athletes for NHL 14. Rumors have been floating around of including some historical teams in NHL 14 so we’ll be listing the top current choice as well as the top all-time player.
Anaheim Ducks: Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya – Kariya had a decent career with the Ducks even though he ended his career elsewhere
Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara, Ray Bourque – Lots of players to choose from, but Bourque deserves the cover.
Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller, Gilbert Perreault – Over the course of his 17 season career he accumulated 512 goals and 814 assists in 1191 games.
Calgary Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff, Lanny McDonald – He played over 1,100 games during a 16-year NHL career in which he scored 500 goals and over 1,000 points.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Staal Brothers, Ron Francis – While I’d love to see a tribute to the Whaler franchise, Francis gets the nods here.
Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews, Stan Mikita – Upon his retirement, he had the third-highest career scoring point total of any NHL player, after Gordie Howe and Phil Esposito.
Colorado Avalanche: Milan Hejduk, Joe Sakic – Over the course of his career, Sakic was one of the most productive forwards in the game, having twice scored 50 goals and earning at least 100 points in six different seasons.
Columbus Blue Jackets: Jack Johnson, (none)
Dallas Stars: Kari Lehtonen, Mike Modano – He is the all-time goal-scoring and points leader amongst American-born players in the NHL, as well as the last active player in the NHL who played for the North Stars when the team was in Minnesota.
Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg, Gordie Howe
Edmonton Oilers: Taylor Hall, Wayne Gretzky
Florida Panthers: Stephen Weiss, Scott Mellanby – 3rd in all-time franchise points.
Los Angeles Kings: Mike Richards, Marcel Dionne – Dionne is third in the NHL for most 100+ point seasons. He has had eight 100+ point seasons in his NHL career, only behind Wayne Gretzky’s fourteen 100+ point seasons and Mario Lemieux’s ten 100+ point seasons.
Minnesota Wild: Zach Parise, (none)
Montreal Canadiens: P.K. Subban, Jean Beliveau – Béliveau retired at the end of the 1970–71 NHL season as his team’s all-time leader in points, second all-time in goals and the NHL’s all-time leading playoff scorer. He scored 507 goals and had 712 assists for 1,219 points in 1,125 NHL regular-season games plus 79 goals and 97 assists for 176 points in 162 playoff games.
Nashville Predators: Pekka Rinne, (none)
New Jersey Devils: Martin Brodeur, Martin Brodeur – Brodeur is the NHL’s all-time leader in regular season wins, losses, shutouts, and games played, and holds numerous other league and franchise records.
New York Islanders: John Tavares, Mike Bossy – Bossy is the NHL’s all-team leader in average goals scored per regular season game, and is one of only five players to score 50 goals in 50 games.
New York Rangers: Marc Staal, Mark Messier – Even though Messier played elsewhere, his leadership during the curse ending cup run can’t be overlooked.
Ottawa Senators: Daniel Alfredsson, Daniel Alfredsson – No other player is synonymous with the Sens.
Philadelphia Flyers: Scott Hartnell, Bobby Clarke – During his 15 season playing career, he led the Flyers to two Stanley Cups and was awarded the Hart Trophy as league MVP three times.
Phoenix Coyotes: Shane Doan, (none due to Winnipeg getting team back. I know the Coyotes claim the records and players as their own, but it just makes sense from a cover standpoint to put them with the “new” Jets.)
Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby, Mario Lemieux
San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton, Owen Nolan – 3rd in franchise points.
St. Louis Blues: David Backes, Brett Hull – 2nd in franchise points.
Tampa Bay Lightning: Vincent Lecavalier, Brian Bradley – Longtime Lightning captain.
Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf, Mats Sundin – Leafs all-time points leader.
Vancouver Canucks: Sedin twins, Trevor Linden – 3rd in franchise points.
Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin, Peter Bondra – 1st in franchise points.
Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane, Dale Hawerchuk – He won the NHL’s Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1982 and was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility in 2001.
Who are your picks? Let is know in the comments.