Getting named the cover athlete of a sport's main video game is one of the higher honours a player can receive. Forget Wheatie boxes, it's all about getting endorsed by EA these days! Sure, some athletes may have their hesitations about Madden, but Chel's a different story. No curses or anything, just the pleasure of being the face of one of the biggest sports companies in the world for a year.
We're still a ways away from the time of year when EA Sports will name its next cover athlete but it's not too early to start considering who it might be. So with that in mind, let's take a look at who that group includes. For some it's too late but for others... there's still hope.
IT'S PROBABLY TOO LATE AT THIS POINT
Sid the Kid has been the face of the NHL for years now and he could probably make this happen if he wanted to. But let's be mindful that he's a pretty superstitious dude and has never really been know for hogging attention. Maybe he'll eventually have a change in heart but it's starting to look like we may never see Crosby on the cover of one of EA's video games.
Count Geno as another Penguins star who hasn't cracked the cover. Malkin has been one of the NHL's best players for as long as hockey fans can remember and also happens to be one of the league's funnier personalities. He's getting older, but it's not too late!
Hank has been in the league longer than any of these names but still hasn't gotten the nod. The last tendy to brace the over was Martin Brodeur in 2014 so this one is looking unlikely. Lundqvist turned 38 on March 2.
The guy is just such a beauty. Highly unlikely at this point but hey, who wouldn't love to see this?! He's 35 and still one of the game's best!
Doughty seems like a huge beauty and has been one of the best at what he does for years now. Who wouldn't want to see that toothless smile go on sale in stores? Only four defenceman have been selected for the cover, so the odds aren't in his favour. It would be a nice accolade to add to an impressive resume, though.
We don't think there would have even been enough room on the cover for him but hey, it would have been awesome to see that visor-less mug in stores.
IT'S NOT TOO LATE
It may be too late for Hank but it certainly isn't for arguably the league's best goalie. Price has built a no-doubt Hall of fame career already and is just 32 years of age. He's earned his shot!
THERE'S PLENTY OF HOPE
Crosby's good friend Nathan MacKinnon has cracked the cover either but that could change in the near future. MacKinnon has been dominant over the past few years quickly evolved into one of the world's top players. He could follow Sid's lead, but it wouldn't be surprising to see this one eventually happen.
Yes, we get it, the Leafs just had a player on the cover last year. But you have to admit that he would make a perfect cover athlete. The 22-year-old is one of the more fun players in the league and loves video games. Maybe not this year, but this one should happen down the line if Marner continues his strong play!
This one seems like it could happen sooner than later. Draisaitl was playing like the league's MVP before it went on pause. A German player has never been on the cover so we'll have to see if that changes soon. He's just 24 so there's plenty of time.
This one's similar to Draisaitl's situation. Young, whole career ahead of him, and was playing like an MVP candidate. He also happens to have one of the best nicknames in the league. Not a bad combo!
Elias Pettersson was named the cover athlete in Sweden, but he deserves the whole thing now. He's ridiculous... enough said.
We know this is just a taste of players who haven't donned the cover, so let us know in the comments which other players haven't done so!