LAS VEGAS - Patrice Bergeron will grace the cover of EA Sports' NHL 15 video game, as announced at the 2014 NHL Awards on Tuesday by Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk.
The cover vote took place from May 5 through June 1, with eight NHL players "competing" for the cover. Fans cast their votes via NHL.com/covervote and on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #NHL15Bergeron. Posts containing the hashtag were counted as one vote. On Thursdays, the votes counted double.
The final round from May 26-June 1 saw Bergeron up against Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
Bergeron is the first Boston Bruin to be featured on the cover since Andy Moog was on the cover of the NHL 94 video game along with Tomas Sandstrom.
Prior to going up against Subban in the final round, Bergeron defeated St. Louis' T.J. Oshie and Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
The Bruins (and The Bear) took to Twitter (@NHLBruins) and Instagram to help solicit votes for Bergeron with contests, signed memorabilia and images, videos, and more. The Boston faithful nearly took over social media for three weeks to vote. Bergeron's teammates, other athletes and celebrities, and all the local professional sports teams also did their part to pitch in and support the B's center on Twitter by spreading the word about #NHL15Bergeron:
Everyone's efforts paid off.
And "never in a million years" did Bergeron think he'd be on the cover of a video game.
"I never thought of that when I grew up. To be on the cover, it's very special," Bergeron said in Vegas, after he was announced as the cover athlete, and after he took home the Selke Trophy and the NHL's Foundation Player Award. "It's a game that I used to play a lot as a kid and so many great players have been on the cover of that game in the past and now to be part of that list is very humbling, so it's pretty special."
"I want to thank all the fans obviously for voting. I'm really grateful for the support that I have received over the course of that campaign and it means a lot to me."
Bergeron wanted to offer a special message to fans after the announcement (literally, we finished up his post-awards show interview, and he was the one to say, 'hey, can I do a video for the fans?')
And here's his 'thank you' to all of you...
And here's the announcement during the NHL Awards...