The above video is the trailer for the Swedish version of NHL 11, and it's pretty great. The EA Sedins are similar to the real Sedins, in that they seem slow to me, but they are capable of some pretty incredible stickwork and passing. Also, their heads have a strange shape. Kudos to the graphics guy who got it just right.
This got me wondering: does Sweden always get a Swedish cover athlete?
The first time EA released two different versions was in 2000, when Markus Naslund was named the cover athlete for the European release of the game. This was part of a brilliant bit of cross-promotion, as the Canucks held their training camp and named Markus Naslund their captain in Stockholm, Sweden, and EA released the latest NHL game during the same month. This is what happens when Brian Burke lives and works in the same city as EA's head offices. Say what you will about the man; he knows marketing.
The EA series would release a European version the following year as well, with Jere Lehtinen on the European cover (Owen Nolan on the Canadian), then return to only one version for the '02, '03' and '04 editions. In '05, they went back to the two-release system, again with Markus Naslund, although this time he graced the North American cover. Olli Jokinen got the Euro edition.
In 06', Vinny Lecavalier (North America) and Tuomo Ruutu (Europe) split the assignment before EA began releasing separate covers for separate European nations. '07 saw Alex Ovechkin on the North American release, Teemu Selanne on the Finnish release, and Henrik Lundqvist on the Swedish edition.
Since then, Sweden has had a Swedish cover athlete every year. In order: Henrik Zetterberg ('08), Daniel Alfredsson ('09), Nicklas Backstrom ('10), and finally, Henrik & Daniel Sedin ('11). But never Mikael Samuelsson. Word is, every year, Mikael Samuelsson walks into Electronics Boutique, checks to see if he's on the cover, and when he isn't, he tells the guy behind the checkout counter EA can go eff themselves.
Also of interest: EA has released a Swiss version of the game for the last two years. It should come as a shock to absolutely nobody that Mark Streit has been on both covers. Who else? Their David Aebsicher window closed in 2006, and Juraj Simek never panned out. You've gotta think it'll be Mark Streit again next year, unless Nino Niederreiter turns some heads. Problem is, he's gotta outplay Mark Streit on the same bloody team. Yes, they both play for New York, making their team the Swissest group of Islanders since the Swiss Family Robinson.