The alumni teams in EA Sports’ NHL series are one of the best additions to the game over the last few seasons. It is a great, yet still slightly underwhelming section of the game. The rosters have grown substantially over the last few years, 87 new names were added to the Alumni teams for NHL22 alone, including Rick Nash, Simon Gagne, Milan Hejduk, Kris Draper, Adam Foote, Vincent Damphousse, Ryan Smyth, Chris Osgood, Brian Gionta amongst many other notable players, as well as the return of Jaromir Jagr. Some of which were featured on last year’s missing players list, but there are still holes and some of the best to ever do it are still not featured in the game.
Alexander Mogilny– To have somebody as important as Alexander Mogilny not included in the game just feels wrong. He was the first Soviet player to defect from Russia to play in the NHL, is a member of the triple gold club, a Stanley Cup champion and hold many firsts for Russian players in the NHL.
Sergei Fedorov– Speaking of important Russians, one of the best two-way players of all time is once again not represented in the video game. The six-time all-star has one Hart Trophy, two Selke Trophy, Three Stanley Cups and 1,179 points to his name. Even though the Red Wings are well represented, the noticeable absence on Fedorov is still annoying.
Pavel Datsyuk– The Magic Man is still technically an active player in the KHL, so it could explain his absence from the game, but they’d usually sneak a player like Datsyuk in on the Russian national team, but for the second year in a row, that isn’t the case.
Henrik Zetterberg- Datsyuk’s partner in crime during the heyday of their 2000’s Cup team Henrik Zetterberg is also noticeably absent from the game. The 17-year NHL vet has been retired for three seasons now due to back injuries, but his contract ran out at the end of 2021, so he is no longer in the regular game. During his last season in the NHL, he passed Fedorov for fifth place in points in Red Wings history.
Vincent Lecavalier– The Lightning have a fairly impressive Alumni team, but the biggest missing piece may be their biggest star. Lecavalier has been or is about to be passed in most offensive categories by Steven Stamkos, but that doesn’t take away from the accomplishments he led the Lightning through during their original glory days. Lecavalier’s partner in crime Martin St. Louis is on the Tampa alumni roster for the third straight year, but it’s time to virtually reunite one of the hottest scoring duos of all time.
Paul Kariya– In terms of star power ratio per team, the Ducks may be one of the best equipped alumni squads, but there’s one big name missing. For a long time, Paul Kariya was second in Ducks history in pretty much every offensive category behind Teemu Selanne, but has since been passed by both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
Daniel Alfredsson– The Senators all-time goals, assists and points leader is no where to be found on their alumni team. The 13-year captain has a commanding lead on pretty much every category and is arguably the most important player in Senators history. Just an unfortunate absence from the series.
Patrik Elias– The Devils alumni team gained a big name in Martin Brodeur last season, but one of their most memorable forwards is still missing. Elias owns a dozen Devils records including career points, goals, assists, hat tricks, and playoff points. The 20-year vet has been absent from the NHL series for six years now and it’s time to reintroduce him to the series.
Peter Bondra– Before there was Alex Ovechkin in Washington, there was Peter Bondra. He was the man holding the scoring titles before the Great 8 showed up. With 472 goals, 353 assists, and 825 points, that’s good enough for second, ninth, and third in Caps history.
David Legwand- Be honest, when you think about Nashville Predators alumni, does anybody else but David Legwand come to your mind? The Preds alumni roster is still pretty thin, and Legwand’s absence is a big reason for that. He holds pretty mcuh every record there is to hold in Nashville.
Phil Esposito– Esposito’s trophy case is big enough to take up a city block. With two Stanley Cups, five Art Ross Trophies, two Hart Trophies, a Lester B. Pearson Award, and a Lester Patrick Trophy under his belt as well as being a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Esposito had memorable stints with the Blackhawks, Bruins and Rangers during his 19-year NHL career, which is plenty of options to add him to the game.
Mike Bossy– The Islanders haven’t had many good things in their history, but Mike Bossy is one of them and he’s MIA from the game. Even though his career ended prematurely to back issues, he was still a key member of the Isles Cup teams from 1980 to 1983. Bossy still holds the goalscoring record for the Isles with 573 and is second in points with 1,126.
Bobby Hull- His son Brett is in NHL22, so let’s add the OG Hull to the series as well. His career spanned 16 seasons in the NHL, as well as seven years in the WHA. “The Golden Jet” was ahead of his time with his speed and shooting ability which helped him secure three Art Ross Trophies, two Hart Trophies, and a Stanley Cup.
Bobby Orr– where do we even start with Orr? A Calder Trophy winner, an eight-time Norris Trophy winner, two-time Art Ross winner, eight-time all-star, three consecutive Hart Trophies, two-time Conn Smythe winner, two-time Stanley Cup winner, and about two dozen other awards and records to his name. What’s the hold up putting him in the game?
Eric Desjardins– The Flyers haven’t exactly had many stars on the backend over the last few decades, but maybe their best is still no where to be found. Desjardins patrolled the blue line for a decade and is top-three in most stats for a defenseman in team history. He’s second in goals, assists, points, behind only Mark Howe (who is in the game) and third in game played by a Flyers defenseman.
Kimmo Timonen- Another notable Flyers defenseman missing from the game is Kimmo Timonen. He may not have the illustrious career or mile-long trophy case as other players on this list, but few players’ careers can be as consistent for as long as Timonen’s. He may not hold many records, but he was a pillar defenseman for two different organizations in his career but should finally be enshrined in NHL video game lore.
Scott Stevens– Let’s be honest, nobody likes Scott Stevens, but the impact he had during his NHL career, both good and bad, but that doesn’t mean his 22 NHL season and should go unnoticed. He played 1,635 games which is good enough for 10th place in NHL history and scored 908 points. Wouldn’t it be great to play as Eric Lindros and just wreck Stevens at any given opportunity?
Andrei Markov– When you can etch your name into the Canadien’s history books, you know you’re a special player. Markov sits second in game played for a defenseman, and sixth overall in Habs history. He’s tied for second in points for a defenseman with 572, numbers that another defenseman may never hit, as on P.K. Subban recently came close with 278.
Sandis Ozolinsh- Ozolinsh was a top defenseman in the NHL for 875 games with six different clubs. He won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche and was a Norris Trophy finalist in 1997. Today, Ozolinsh holds the goals, assists, points, and games played leader for a Latvian-born NHLer. He held the Avalanche record for goals and points by a defenseman until being supplanted by Tyson Barrie.
Dominik Hasek– The “Big Three” of NHL goaltending greats are Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy and Dominik Hask, but only the later of the three is missing from the game. The Dominator may very well be the best goalie of all time with two Stanley Cups, six Vezina Trophies and two Hart Trophies, and yet, no where to be found in the NHL series.
Roberto Luongo– Bobby Luo has been retired for a few seasons now and we’re patiently waiting for him to return to the NHL series in the form of an alumni. The 20-year NHL veteran may not have a massive trophy collection, he’s second all-time in the NHL in games played by a goaltender with 1,044 games. He also holds various records for both the Canucks and Panthers organizations.
Olaf Kolzig– We already talked about the Caps missing Bondra, and they’re also missing their longtime franchise goalie as well. He played 711 games over 16 seasons with the Caps and still holds their records for wins, games played, saves, and shutouts.
Jose Theodore- One of the more underrated goaltenders missing from the alumni teams is longtime Canadiens’ netminder Jose Theodore. He has Vezina and Hart Trophies on his resumé. He is top five in most goaltending records in Montreal history, which is no easy feat.
Nikolai Khabibulin- The Bulin Wall was the first Russian goaltender to win the Stanley Cup and sits 25th all-time in games played and 17th in games played.
Miikka Kiprusoff– The list of all-time great Calgary Flames goaltenders is pretty slim, so the fact that Kiprusoff is still missing from the game is a bit baffling. He holds essentially every single record as the Flames’ goaltender including games played, wins, losses, save percentage, goals against average, shutouts, and minutes played.
Cam Ward- The Hurricanes have a relatively thin alumni roster and one of their mount rushmore players are not in the game. Ward spent 13 seasons in Carolina where he hold virtually every goaltending record for the club, most by an obscenely wide margin. He carried the Hurricanes to their first and, so far, only Stanley Cup as a rookie in 2006, where he won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Tomas Vokoun– The Nashville Predators are one of the teams that don’t have an expansive alumni roster, so leaving one of the top players in their franchise’s history off their roster is not great. He is second in Predators’ history in quite literally every goaltending record behind the recently-retired Pekka Rinne.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: ea.com