Unfortunately for Colorado Avalanche fans, Matt Duchene won’t be on the cover of the upcoming EA Sports video game NHL 15. Duchene lost in the first round voting to St. Louis Blues and Team USA star forward T.J. Oshie. Duchene had arguably the toughest first round match-up, going up against Oshie, who won the hearts of every American earlier this year with his dazzling shootout performance against Team Russia in the winter Olympics. While Oshie’s performance was a highlight of the Olympics, it was Duchene who skated away with a gold medal.
The last Avalanche player to be on the cover of the NHL series was Joe Sakic for NHL 04, although he was actually the third choice for the cover behind Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley. Thornton’s cover was never produced due to his run in with the cops while Heatley’s cover was yanked and replaced by Sakic after his infamous car crash. Peter Forsberg for NHL 98 is the only other time an Avalanche player has been featured on the cover.
Maybe it’s not such a bad thing that Duchene won’t be named the cover athlete. For the past three seasons, the player who has graced the cover of the NHL series has failed to make the playoffs with their team. Martin Brodeur (NHL 14, New Jersey Devils), Claude Giroux (NHL 13, Philadelphia Flyers), and Steven Stamkos (NHL 12, Tampa Bay Lightning) all sat at home after game 82 the year they were on the cover. While the NHL cover curse isn’t quite as high profile as the Madden cover curse, facts are facts.