Twenty-one year old Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos has been chosen by EA Sports to grace the cover of NHL 12. Steven joins the likes of notable hockey heroes including Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, and other names most people won’t recognize.
Stamkos earned his cover spot after a strong showing throughout the 2010-11 NHL season. He made an appearance in the All-Star Game and was included in both the fastest skater and hardest shot competitions in the Superskills competition. On the back of his 45 goals and 46 assists over the course of the season, Stamkos led his Lightning to the Eastern Conference finals where they would eventually be eliminated by the eventual NHL Champion Boston Bruins.
While his steady play and impressive stat line throughout the season is most likely what earned Stamkos the honor of cover athlete on EA Sports’ next roster update…er, game, he might be most known for taking a puck to the face in his final game of the season. The shot came from the stick Johnny Boychuk slammed into Steven’s jaw at about 90 miles per hour or about 85 miles per hour faster than it would take to make most people quit hockey forever.. Amazingly, Stamkos returned minutes later with a visor and what one could only imagine to be a lot of brain damage. Perhaps EA’s choice had nothing to do with Stamkos’ stats but rather they were just afraid that he is clearly some sort of hockey robot and would destroy them if they chose anyone else.