Gretzky, Bourque, Chelios Enter NHL 12’s Legendary Roster

August 13, 2011 Written by Heath Hindman

EA Sports revealed recently that NHL 12 will feature more than just hockey’s biggest stars of today, reaching back in time to tickle the memories of older fans with “Legends” of the game. The first the legends have been revealed via a new trailer: Wayne Gretzky, Chris Chelios, and Ray Bourque.

Chelios is best known for his days playing defense for the Chicago Blackhawks and before that, the Montreal Canadiens. Late in his career he also helped the Detroit Red Wings to two more Stanley Cup victories. He is widely regarded as one of the all-time greatest hockey players from the United States.

Like Chelios, Ray Bourque was also a d-man, having spent 21 seasons on Boston’s blue line. Boston is the current defending Stanley Cup champion, but Bourque never brought a cup to the city himself. With a heavy heart, he left Boston and sought the Colorado Avalanche in his final NHL season, miraculously living his dream of winning it all.

Wayne Gretzky really needs no introduction, but here’s one anyway. Dubbed “The Great One” and labeled by most as the single most outstanding player in the history of the game, Wayne helped the popularity of hockey take off in the US when the Los Angeles Kings sent several players and a dump truck full of money up to Edmonton in a trade that the Canadian version of ESPN (TSN) still talks about every single year on its anniversary. Watch the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary “A King’s Ransom” for more on that.

Here’s the new trailer unveiling the three legends officially. There will reportedly be six more unmasked in the future, at least one of them being a goalkeeper, if those silhouettes are any indication.

As a new announcement, the details are not yet completely clear, as EA is staggering its details to keep gamers on the edges of their seats until release time, a popular marketing tactic. As of now, we know that these studs of yesteryear will be on cards in Hockey Ultimate Team and will be playable in at least some game modes. Which ones, however, are not yet known. It would certainly be interesting for Oilers fans to see Gretzky skating alongside Taylor Hall in franchise mode though. Perhaps players could even recreate the waves of the Gretzky deal that was labeled “the trade of the century” 23 years ago? We’ll see. The new NHL game is due out in September, as usual.