Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane only won a single award between the two of them Wednesday night, but they may have earned a far greater honor than another trophy (not really).
EA Sports revealed its cover for NHL 16 at the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Donning the cover are Chicago’s dynamic duo hoisting their third Stanley Cup in six seasons. Below is the official cover from a tweet by EA Sports.
This is the second time both Toews and Kane have graced the cover of the hockey franchise’s annual game. Kane first held the honor for the NHL 10 cover after he netted the game-winning goal in Chicago’s Stanley Cup championship against the Philadelphia Flyers. Toews was put on the cover a year later for NHL 11.
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It’s the first time since Dany Heatley and Joe Sakic both graced the cover of NHL 2004 that there will be more than one athlete on the game’s cover. Toews and Kane are the only Blackhawks to ever be placed on the cover.
It was the second honor Toews would receive during the awards ceremony. He won the Mark Messier Leadership Award earlier in the evening, edging out former teammate and Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Laad as well as Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.
“It’s hard for me to believe, and it’s almost something you feel bashful (about),” Toews told the media after winning the award. “It’s something you don’t feel worthy of. It’s an incredible honor. You have so many people you want to express thanks to, and it’s a pretty special moment, obviously, to be chosen by this man. And obviously I want to keep doing what I’m doing, I guess, if it’s working out this well. Pretty cool right now.”
Toews was also nominated for the Selke Trophy as the league’s best two-way forward, but lost to Patrice Bergeron, who was on the cover of last year’s NHL game.
The celebrations will be short-lived as the Chicago Blackhawks embark on what should be a tumultuous offseason, starting with the NHL Draft Friday in Miami. The Hawks are already actively shopping players such as Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell and Kris Versteeg to clear up cap space to re-sign restricted free agents Brandon Saad and Marcus Kruger. Some of these moves could take place as early as tomorrow.
The offseason may be a dire one for the Blackhawks, but things should be just fine as long as they have their two cover boys.