U.S. Olympic Hockey Hero Chosen for NHL 2K11 Cover

U.S. Olympic Hockey Hero Chosen for NHL 2K11 Cover

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2010 Winter Olympics hero Ryan Kesler has been chosen as the cover athlete for the upcoming NHL 2K11, prompting gamers and hockey fans across Canada to say, "Wait, what?"

Did you happen to catch the Olympics? If so, you might have noticed that the U.S. Olympic men's hockey team didn't win gold. It took home the silver medal instead, which is certainly respectable but, when get you right down to it, still just the prize they give to the losers. Nonetheless, 2K Sports today announced Kesler as the NHL 2K11 cover athlete, saying he "captured the collective attention of sports fans around the world with his gritty and awe-inspiring performance" as a leading member of the U.S. Olympic men's team.

"Ryan is one of the most talented and exciting players to watch in the NHL today and his popularity has grown exponentially since the recent success of Team USA at the Winter Olympics," said 2K Sports Senior Vice President Greg Thomas, who apparently defines "success" as "not losing as badly as, say, Latvia."

"Having the opportunity to participate in the Olympics and play in front of my home crowd was one of the best experiences of my life," added Kesler, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks. And while he made the usual press release noises about being excited to work with 2K Sports and NHL 2K11 being a great game, he was a bit more subdued and candid in comments to Kotaku.

"I was pretty disheartened after we lost in the gold medal game, and to get the call the next day and to be asked if I wanted to be on the cover, it was a nice pick-me-up," Kesler said. "It's always been a dream."

He said the team's effort in capturing silver - which, all kidding aside, was pretty damn awesome - made a big impression on hockey fans in his home country. "Our first game back was in Columbus, the second was in my hometown of Detroit, and I was definitely getting more cheers there than before," he added. "The biggest thing I've noticed is being stopped in the street, people congratulating me, congratulating us all."

And while the U.S. didn't go home with hockey gold, Kesler's sense of humor is still in one piece. When asked what he thought of Canadians would feel about the choice of a U.S. player for the cover instead of one of their own, he laughed. "I'm not saying sorry," he said. "They got us when it counted, they have nothing to complain about."

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Hmmm, ENN will react well. Inevitably.

Calumon: So... the losers... win? They must have been playing it wrong.

Um, what? Kesler wasn't even the best player on his own team! (I should know, I would have won my Olympic pool if he was.) Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Brian Rafalski hell even Jamie Langenbrunner all had better performances then he did. This is a right shaky choice by 2K, but then again, what do I care? I go to EA for my hockey games.

Andy Chalk:
"I'm not saying sorry," he said. "They got us when it counted, they have nothing to complain about."

Is he able to pass through doors with a head like that?

You know the people at 2K are blind as well as stupid if they couldn't see that RYAN MILLER, THEIR GOALTENDER was the only reason they made it to the goldmetal game, in fact, Ryan Miller won the MVP award! Bunch of morons...

It's a marketing ploy to try to grab a few more US fans for the NHL. In certain parts of the country (like the one in which I live) hockey is pretty much off people's radar and not real popular. However, everybody watched the olympic tournament because it looked like we might win. So they take someone that nascent hockey fans who were introduced to the sport just recently will recognize.

Ryan Kesler is one the most overlooked players in the NHL. As a person who fairly regularly watches the Canucks play I can attest that he fully deserves to be named a cover athlete for a video game. He is one the hardest working players on the ice when you watch him play on top of which he is also a fantastic two-way player. It is nice to see him finally getting the recognition he deserves, no matter what Don Cherry and all those guys with an East-coast bias have to say.

LOL! Are you kidding me!! Ryan Kesler a hockey hero?!? Could there be a bigger a$shole in hockey?? OK, maybe Sean Avery...

Hockey hero huh? Could anyone else who also watched all of the Olympics explain what part he played was heroic?

I'll agree with the others who posted who said that Miller would be a much better choice, IF you had to choose someone from a losing team.

I'm not sure how hockey is played in the US, but someone who scores the winning goal to win Gold in his home country in overtime against their biggest rival in the world after almost being eliminated early on pretty much EXACTLY defines a hero lol.

Bonus: Hit Up-Down-Up-Down-Left-Right-Left to see Kesler cry for being useless to his team and letting a whole country down.

Should have been Sidney Crosby, Americans know who he is too. His team won the stanley cup plus he's a goldmedalist.

However as said before I don't really care as I get my hockey game fix from EA.

If any American should be on the cover, it should be Ryan Miller. I may have laughed when I saw the look on his face when he settled for silver, but that guy is seriously the American Hockey Jesus.

Weird choice, 2K.

Andy Chalk:

It took home the silver medal instead, which is certainly respectable

pfft.
its ALL ABOUT THE GOLD!

Vin Diesel:

don't matter if you win by an inch or by a mile, winning, IS WINNING.

this is really weak, sure, i dislike crosby, but patriotism>said dislike, he'd be more deserving of a game cover.

If they were going for a US hockey hero, then I agree with the Ryan Miller bandwagon. Besides also being one of the best players on the planet.

As an aside, looking up the history of the covers for that and the NHL(PA) series, the fact that Mark Streit has been featured in Switzerland for years is hilarious. Even when Martin Gerber was still relevant, it was Mark Streit, baby!

Can't we just have a no-name Lego Hockey player on the cover? Or a sackboy? Then no fanboys can complain!

Or all of them complain.. But still, I like the idea!

Gomithrus:
Ryan Kesler is one the most overlooked players in the NHL. As a person who fairly regularly watches the Canucks play I can attest that he fully deserves to be named a cover athlete for a video game. He is one the hardest working players on the ice when you watch him play on top of which he is also a fantastic two-way player. It is nice to see him finally getting the recognition he deserves, no matter what Don Cherry and all those guys with an East-coast bias have to say.

To be fair, Don wouldn't care if it were East Coast or West Coast as long as it's a "GOOD CANADIAN KID!" One of whom should be on the cover.

Dublin Solo:

Andy Chalk:
"I'm not saying sorry," he said. "They got us when it counted, they have nothing to complain about."

Is he able to pass through doors with a head like that?

I don't really see how that is an example of bigheadedness. He's acknowledging that it doesn't really mean a lot compared to winning the olympics.

What 'hockey hero'? We kicked your asses; silver is merely 'the first loser'.

Lord_Panzer:
If any American should be on the cover, it should be Ryan Miller. I may have laughed when I saw the look on his face when he settled for silver, but that guy is seriously the American Hockey Jesus.

Weird choice, 2K.

I agree if they are going to pick someone from the American team they should pick Miller

Personally I would put Roberto Luongo

So yeah, first... the US took Canada to overtime in the gold medal game after beating them up in the prelims. That isn't CAN kicking anyone's rear, it was a great game. But it was hardly a beat down.

Second, Kessler was all over 2K's television ads with the hockey moms. That probably has much more to do with it than who should have gotten more recognition from the Olympics.

If they're going for the best American player, why isn't Ryan Miller on the cover? Then again, I'd rather not have Sydney Crosby's face on the box, probably make his ego even bigger.

CosmicQueso:

Second, Kesler was all over 2K's television ads with the hockey moms. That probably has much more to do with it than who should have gotten more recognition from the Olympics.

That's true too, I forgot all about that. He probably already had a deal in place for putting up with that dang commercial.

If it was Ryan Miller, I would go apeshit and most likely break something.

"GOD I HATE THAT GUY!!" -Eric Cartman

You'd think they'd pick the actually Olympic hero, Sidney Crosby. He is the hero because he scored the winning goal. But anyway, Kesler is a good player, but I would have gone with Zach Parise or Ryan Miller.

You can't put a goalie on the cover of a videogame.

Well, makes sense somewhat. Someone does somethign great at an important event and then gets immortalised. The cycle continues

When we lose, we win

That's a load of bull! Crosby should be on the cover, he got the gold winning shot... watch canadain sales go down ...idiots

MrPandarium:

Lord_Panzer:
If any American should be on the cover, it should be Ryan Miller. I may have laughed when I saw the look on his face when he settled for silver, but that guy is seriously the American Hockey Jesus.

Weird choice, 2K.

I agree if they are going to pick someone from the American team they should pick Miller

Personally I would put Roberto Luongo

Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!

Andy Chalk:
You can't put a goalie on the cover of a videogame.

Why not? EA made this:
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NeoAC:
Um, what? Kesler wasn't even the best player on his own team! (I should know, I would have won my Olympic pool if he was.) Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Patrick Kane, Brian Rafalski hell even Jamie Langenbrunner all had better performances then he did. This is a right shaky choice by 2K, but then again, what do I care? I go to EA for my hockey games.

mattttherman3:
You know the people at 2K are blind as well as stupid if they couldn't see that RYAN MILLER, THEIR GOALTENDER was the only reason they made it to the goldmetal game, in fact, Ryan Miller won the MVP award! Bunch of morons...

Ya Miller easily was the best player of the tourny and thus he was rewarded with the MVP. If it were not for him the US would not have made the medal round. Miller was a god in the Olympics and he should be the one on the cover. Maybe EA will get it right with NHL 11.

Do people even play the NHL2K games?

Really in any case who cares who's on the cover.
EA probably got Crosby or something so 2K gets sloppy seconds.

Here's my idea: Alexander Ovechkin on the cover of ESPN NHL 2K11, Sidney Crosby on the cover of EA NHL 2011.

I am American and even I can't help but question this move. Canadians love hockey and would make up a huge portion of the game's core market so why would they put an American on the cover, especially one who represented America against Canada in the gold medal Olympic Games?

Kesler is kind of a puzzling choice. He's a good player but he's not one of the greats of hockey. Even on the Canucks he's one of those good players that garners a lot of fans, but definitely not on the level of the Sedin twins or Luongo.

...

Or maybe it's just a clever ploy to appeal to both Americans and Canucks fans?

 

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