Monday, August 20, 2007

EA Sports NHL '97 breaks down the NHL trade deadline

So you haven't kept up with the NHL since the days when you unironically had a Genesis strapped to your main household tv? Big deal. GMs practically treat the NHL trade deadline like a video game anyway, plus with the amount of old fogeys getting dealt around yesterday, it might as well have been 1997. Let's take a look at yesterday's trades as evaluated by the most significant sporting entity of my (and many other peoples') lifetime - EA Sports NHL '97.


The Nashville Predators scored big with their pickup of Peter Forsberg last week. Forsberg sports an impressive 86 Overall and possesses an eye-popping 99 Offensive Awareness, meaning he might occasionally pass the puck to his teammate in the slot instead of tossing a one-timer to a defenseman all the way back in his own zone. Either way, his Pass Accuracy is 93, so even when he passes to the wrong dude it'll be on target.

The Atlanta Thrashers are all smiles after their acquisition of Keith Tkachuk from the Blues; his 89 Shot Power and 83 Checking should make for a lethal combination, at least until they get frustrated with him and just put in a bunch of fast guys. Mike Gartner, anyone?

The Pittsburgh Penguins quietly stole Gary Roberts from Florida, who's an 81 Overall not including his Jeteresque 130 in the 'Intangibles' column. Roberts also boasts a 99 Aggressiveness, meaning he'll constantly be trying to hit the guy with the puck, which is very different from what everyone else in the game does.


I'm not sure what the big deal was about San Jose picking up Bill Guerin. The guy's a 73 Overall, which is more or less Nelson Emerson / Paul Ysebart territory, plus his alarming 66 Endurance really calls into question his commitment to conditioning. Which I imagine occurs while the system is turned off.

Atlanta may have misstepped in their pickup of defenseman Alexei Zhitnik, whose wussy 51 Aggressiveness and clueless 59 Defensive Awareness will be hard to overlook, especially when he goes extremely far out of his way to go offsides on every rush.

Toronto didn't improve a whole lot with their pickup of Yanic Perrault, though granted, Perrault's 67 Overall rating doesn't take into account his legendary faceoff talents - he can hit the 'B' button exactly when the puck is dropped, and the fans will cheer him for it.

Vancouver at least didn't have to give up much to get Bryan Smolinski, but according to NHL '97, Smolinski weighs 140 pounds! Apparently, he had a terrible eating disorder back then? Which he developed after surviving the Holocaust?


I cannot believe no one made Columbus an offer for Sergei Fedorov. The Blue Jackets aren't in the playoff hunt, plus they'd be happy to move Fedorov's contract, and oh, did I mention, the guy's a stone cold 99 OVERALL? That's six points better than MARIO LEMIEUX, Jack, and that guy scored plenty of unstoppable, too-easy-to-do dekes back in the EA games of old. Federov's got a 99 speed, too, meaning he is actually different than other players.

The bottom line, though, is that once the playoffs start, it doesn't matter which teams got which players at the deadline, or whose Stickhandling ratings are higher than whose. Winning the Cup comes down to getting hot at the right time, goalies being able to steal games, consistent special teams, and, of course, luck.

That, and cheap-ass unstoppable wrap-arounds and ramming the goalie til he crosses the goal line.


dlaunt said...

Great Analysis! Will one of those guys make little Wayne's head bleed? Too bad Roenick isn't around anymore, that guy was money. Only in Sega though.

Hercules Rockefeller said...

Gotta have human goalie control, otherwise the wraparound and straight-on deke will work every time.

Rick said...

Roenick is actually still around.
He was even making comments about wanting to be traded to a contender so he could get on a decent line and show what he could (in theory) still do.

Man will I miss that guy and his mouth when he retires.

Anonymous said...

YOu gotta turn offsides off - what you give up in "realism" is made up for by not having the game stop every 3 seconds because of terrible computer AI.

Oops Pow Surprise said...

Did the Whalers make any big moves?

Dan said...

They did, actually - I believe they signed Andrew Cassels and Adam Burt to lifetime contract extensions.

Chris said...

The Whale also held onto Randy Ladouceur -- which is good. Paired with Douggie Houda at the blue line, they create a brick wall of skill in front of goalie Kay Whitmore

Vinnie said...

Great work...But who are these "Thrashers" and "Columbus" you speak of?

SonDog said...

Wait... What's this "hockey" sport you are talking about? I thought that sport was dead?

Great analysis. Theo Fluery says, "I'll drink to that!"