Rick Zamperin: Special Original Six uniforms in NHL19 are a digital dud

I first picked up the video game bug when I was a little lad, probably around 10 years old.

My first gaming console, if you could call it that, was Intellivision — the rival to the Atari 2600 — with games like Astrosmash, Pitfall, Snafu, Frogger and Donkey Kong.

However, it was my sports-related games that gave me the biggest thrill and NHL hockey was my particular favourite. I would play that game for hours on end. Oh, to be 10 again, eh?

So when I came across the latest announcement from EA Sports, the makers of some of the best sports video games on the planet, I was a little disappointed.

EA Sports has unveiled a new batch of uniforms for its Original Six teams in its NHL19 Ultimate Team mode, and frankly, they’re terrible. Sorry Electronic Arts, but they are.

Now, I understand that NHL19 is not being marketed to a 44-year-old guy whose gaming skills have greatly diminished over the years, but I’m trying to imagine a 12- to 24-year-old gamer being blown away by EA’s digital dress-up.

In my opinion, the Maple Leafs and Rangers uniforms are easily the best of the bunch, with New York’s getting a slight edge. Toronto’s bears a resemblance to the iconic 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series. New York’s simplistic lettering replaces ‘Rangers’ with the city’s name.

And then the uniform tweaks go sideways.

The Red Wings uniform seems to be a look that they rocked out in the past. Boston’s 13 stripes represent America’s original 13 colonies “honouring the birthplace of a nation” even though the nation was essentially born in Philadelphia.

The Blackhawks nearly all-black uniform has the same crest but with stripes from virtually every colour of the rainbow. And Montreal’s uniform looks as though it was crafted by a six-year-old, complete with the letters ‘M T L’ with red and blue stripes on a white canvas.

The gameplay in NHL19 is unmatched and I give the creators a ton of credit for adding new, cool features in the game. But the Original Six uniform redo is a digital dud.

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