The NHL and EA experienced such a high level of success turning the vote over to the fans last year that the campaign is back. Fans will once again have the chance to determine the player that will appear on the cover of EA's hockey video game franchise, after more than 25 million votes were logged during last year's promotion.
Voting is now live for the cover of NHL 14 -- with the winning player being revealed during the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Fans can vote here, as well as provide their votes during a "Twitter Vote Thursday" using the hashtag "#NHL14CoverVote".
NHL 13, featuring Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers on the cover, was a rousing success once more and received generally favorable reviews as the developer continues to find innovative ways to bring the sport to the home console.
It will be interesting to see which player gets the vote this time around, as the usual suspects are not included in the initial list of 60 finalists voters have to choose from. Could Evgeni Malkin finally get the national and public attention he deserves, or could Patrick Sharp join Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as Blackhawks players selected to grace the cover in recent years?
There's no doubt votes like these are about popularity more than anything, so it will be interesting to see which rabid fanbase turns out the most in this year's vote.
From the NHL's press release:
The voting process will consist of two preliminary rounds, followed by a 16-player bracket as a field of 60 NHL players is narrowed down to one. The winning player will be revealed as the EA SPORTS NHL® 14 Cover Athlete during the 2013 Stanley Cup® Final*. Fans worldwide are encouraged to vote as often as possible at NHL.com/CoverVote to ensure their favorite player advances through the rounds.
This year fans can double their voting power by using these player specific hash tags on "Twitter Vote Thursdays." Each player specific hashtag used on Twitter on Thursdays will be counted as two official votes. Fans can join the conversation about the cover vote every day by using #NHL14CoverVote on Twitter and Instagram.
NHL 14 Cover Vote Schedule:
· Round of 60 - April 22-28: Teammate vs. teammate. One representative from each team plus two wild card selections advance. **
· 32-Player Leaderboard - April 29-May 5: Fans vote for their favorite 16 candidates; top 16 vote-getters advance.
· 16-player Bracket - May 6 - May 26: Weekly round-by-round, single-elimination playoff bracket decides finalists.
· The Finals - May 27- June 2: Winner takes the NHL 14 Cover.