Fox Sports West host Patrick O’Neal
kicked off Saturday’s Kings television coverage with a little blast from the past.
Video games, anyone? We’re talking EA Sports’ NHL 06.
Oh yes, the year after the NHL lockout, with the Tampa Bay Lightning still considered the league’s defending champions, Vincent Lecavalier was featured as the cover boy for the renown game.
“I can’t remember really, it was 10 years ago so it’s been quite a long time,” Lecavalier said. “They asked me to be on the cover and obviously I said ‘yeah’, so it was pretty cool.”
Lecavalier was coming off of a season where he registered 66 points (32G, 34A) in 81 regular season games, tacking on another 16 points (9G, 7A) in Tampa Bay’s 23-game run to a Stanley Cup championship.
A handful of Kings players chimed in on Lecavalier’s classic appearance on the game:
“I’m sure I own that one. I don’t remember exactly, but I basically bought the new NHL every single year, so I’m sure I still have one of those sitting at home. But it’s a pretty big honor, growing up playing this, I would love to be on the cover, whether that happens or not I don’t know, but it’s pretty cool.”
“I had this game when I was growing up, I don’t know if it was for PlayStation, but probably GameCube, I had a GameCube growing up, but I’m sure I had it, probably played with him, probably played with Tampa.”
“It’s always pretty cool when you can get on the cover of a game. He looks a lot younger.”
“Oh, yeah, Vinny’s. I think it’s worth something, that’s gotta be worth something.”
“You know who will enjoy that? His children will enjoy that more than he will. Players always try and play to add to their career so their children can see them play. It’s something I always thought about too, the kids don’t remember.”
Jonathan Quick didn't chime in on Lecavalier's NHL 06 cover, though he did make an appearance during the interview...
Unlike Sports Illustrated, no NHL video game cover curse hampered Lecavalier’s play that year, the Tampa Bay star putting up 75 points (35G, 40A) in 80 games. Unfortunately, though, the Lightning were eliminated by the Ottawa Senators in five games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
“I don’t play video games, so I haven’t played it,” Lecavalier, who doesn’t even own a copy of the game, said. “I have no idea how I look or how everybody looks but I’m sure it’s a lot of fun.”