Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos picked as cover boy for EA Sports' NHL 12 video game

The Lightning’s Steven Stamkos shows off his image on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 12 video game.

Getty Images

The Lightning’s Steven Stamkos shows off his image on the cover of EA Sports’ NHL 12 video game.

LAS VEGAS — Jinx? What jinx?

As far as Lightning center Steven Stamkos is concerned, the urban legend about players on the cover of EA Sports' NHL video games having disastrous subsequent seasons has long been put to rest.

Look at Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, he said. Both had great seasons after being on the cover the past two years.

And how about Tampa Bay's Vinny Lecavalier in 2006, Washington's Alex Ovechkin in '07 and Carolina's Eric Staal in '08, each of whom were stars as cover boys?

"So, I have no worries," Stamkos said, laughing. "I'm just honored to be part of it."

The announcement that Stamkos will grace the 2012 cover was one of the more interesting stories out of Wednesday night's NHL awards show at the Palms Hotel.

It certainly was notable that Tampa Bay wing Marty St. Louis won his second straight Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship, something he called "an honor" and general manager Steve Yzerman called "tremendous."

But Stamkos' link to the video game, which brings well-deserved recognition to one of the game's brightest stars and a coincidental dark cloud similar to the one linked to John Madden's EA Sports' NFL game, did prompt some questions.

Stamkos, 21, shrugged them off, saying he is not superstitious in that way. And St. Louis said Stamkos "should not be worried, no, not at all."

Still, Philadelphia's Eric Lindros in 1998-99 sustained a collapsed lung at the end of his cover season. San Jose's Owen Nolan saw his point production fall by 35 in his cover season of 2000-01.

Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux played only 24 games because of injury in 2001-02. Calgary's Jarome Iginla was down 29 points in 2002-03, and Atlanta's Dany Heatley before his 2003-04 cover season wrapped his car around a pole in a crash that killed his passenger, teammate Dan Snyder.

On the other hand, there are Lecavalier, Ovechkin, Staal, Toews and Kane, who in five of the past six seasons turned the cover into more of a lucky charm. "Hopefully," Stamkos said, "I follow that trend."

That would be good news for Tampa Bay, which needs the unsigned Stamkos to play as he did while scoring 40 goals in his first 54 games last season, not as he did scoring five in his final 28.

Stamkos always has been a gamer. He claims he asked for the EA Sports game every year at Christmas since he was 6 and was "so excited" to buy the first version he was in. He reveled in his version, which hits stores in September, and said he is ready to take on all challengers.

"I played (Wednesday) morning, and I scored a couple of goals when the camera wasn't rolling," he said. "When it was, I think I lost the game. ... My faceoffs weren't very good, so maybe I'll take that as a hint to get better."

"I think he had an outstanding season this year," Yzerman said. "I thought he did an outstanding job in the playoffs. He did a lot of the little things and he continues to evolve as a player."

Enough to overcome any jinx.

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos picked as cover boy for EA Sports' NHL 12 video game 06/22/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Twins eventually cash in as Rays lose, fall back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays could only battle their way out of trouble for so long Saturday afternoon before succumbing in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 27: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates hitting a two-run home run as Derek Norris #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on during the eighth inning of the game on May 27, 2017 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 5-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) 700010973
  2. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  3. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  4. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  5. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]