Worried about the rollercoaster ride that is the impending NHL lockout? Fear not, the Sept. 11 release date of NHL 13 is one you can bank on happening. Players of the EA Sports’ NHL 13 will now have the option of choosing either Canadian women’s hockey team star Hayley Wickenheiser or American defenceman Angela Ruggiero as part of the Legends roster. EA Sports started to include generic female players in NHL 12, but this is the first time the athletes are real-world and recognizable as part of the Canadian-made game.
The number of female players in both Canada and the U.S. has shot up since the first ever IIHF Women’s World Championship tournament in 1990. Since that immense year, the number of girls in Canada has increased from 11,341 to over 85,500 while in the U.S. the number has grown from 10,000 to over 65,500 to this day and ever growing. Wickenheiser has without a doubt done her part to foster that growth.
The four-time Olympic medalist says it was not easy being a girl playing with boys when she was growing up in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. Now she is an advocate for women’s hockey, especially at the grassroots level with the annual Wickenheiser International Women’s Hockey Festival in Burnaby, British Columbia. A weekend full of on-ice and off-ice sessions for females of all ages, in addition to interactive seminars featuring hockey heros Trevor Linden, Mason Raymond, Coach Mel Davidson to name a few, encourages and provides information for the young ones of the opportunities that are now available to them. Whether it is upping their game, how to be a leader, or getting to the next level – WickFest covers all the bases.
Consider her on my roster alongside other Legends newbies Jari Kurri, Doug Gilmour and Dominik Hasek. What are you most excited about #NHL13?