It’s the offseason and the Sens still refuse to do anything, so what is left for us to talk about? Meaningless internet drama, of course!
Earlier this week, EA Sports announced that, for the second time (the first being in 2020), Auston Matthews will be on the cover of their NHL game. The reasoning for this decision seems to be that Matthews is an especially marketable player, which is debatable. Indeed, hockey fans have been debating this — extensively. People have very strong opinions about which players would make better cover stars than Auston Matthews. And you know what? So do I.
EA Sports has never chosen an Ottawa Senator as their cover star, though there have been a few special editions with Sens players. I think it’s time they finally give all NHL fans what they want: Ottawa Senators on the cover of an EA NHL game.
So my weekly question is this: which Ottawa Senator should be the first one to be an EA Sports cover star?
I have a few potential options, all based on different criteria.
Recognizability: Brady Tkachuk
Just by virtue of his last name, Brady Tkachuk is one of the only Ottawa Senators that the average hockey fan can name. He’s the face of the franchise, and the probable future captain. He’d be a great choice to represent the Sens nationwide.
Star Power: Tim Stützle
Stützle is the other obvious answer if you’re looking for players that people outside of Ottawa might recognize. He’s an up-and-coming star coming off a great rookie season, and a player with the kinds of skills that are likely to attract fans around the league.
Marketability: Egor Sokolov
Alright, yes, technically Sokolov has never played an NHL game before, but who’s really paying attention? Do a photoshoot with him in a Sens jersey and you’re good to go. Are you telling me the average EA Sports NHL player pays enough attention to the Ottawa Senators to know if a guy has ever played a game for them? Come on.
Or you could just wait for next year, when he’ll be fresh off a Calder-winning rookie season. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the most likable player in the entire hockey world.
Actual playing ability: Thomas Chabot
Hold on, guys, I’m hearing that… the cover athlete has to be really good at hockey? Weird. I could’ve sworn I’d seen a few versions with Leafs players. Well, in that case, maybe Thomas Chabot would be the best option. He is, after all, quite good at hockey. He didn’t exactly have the best season of his career in 2021, but he’s still arguably the best player on the Sens and one of the top defensemen in the NHL.
The Correct Answer: Artem Zub
Does anyone outside of a very small community of Ottawa Senators fans know who Artem Zub is? No. But they should.
Put Zub on the cover of an NHL game. It’s what the people (me and my friends) want.