In 20 NHL seasons, Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils has earned every honor that can be bestowed upon a goaltender. He's won the Stanley Cup three times, the Vezina Trophy four times and two Olympic gold medals. But there is one distinction the Devils legend never previously received: cover athlete for EA's popular NHL video game series.
That was until now.
In a cover vote campaign that received 22 million votes online and an additional million votes through Twitter, Brodeur was selected as the cover athlete of the upcoming NHL 14 game.
In the final round of fan voting, Brodeur edged Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who recently won the Vezina for the first time in his career. It's a new honor for 41-year-old Brodeur, who is the NHL's all-time leader in wins, saves and shutouts and likely will be enshrined someday in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Brodeur is the first goaltender to be featured on the game's cover since John Vanbiesbrouck of the Florida Panthers in 1997.
Brodeur qualified for the final by beating Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings in the second-to-last round of voting, and Bobrovsky topped John Tavares of the New York Islanders.
The cover of NHL 13 featured Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers, who was named his team's captain shortly after edging Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators in the final round of fan voting. Last year's installment continued the legacy of the popular video game. In all, fans spent approximately 547 million minutes playing NHL 13, roughly equivalent to 7,411 NHL seasons.
EA's NHL 14 cover vote campaign was launched April 22, and fans had the opportunity to choose from a selection of 60 of the League's top players. This year marked the second time fans could vote for the game's cover athlete and the first time they could do so using player-specific hashtags on Twitter.