Patrice Bergeron lands 'NHL 15' cover

Provided photo

Provided photo

, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:24 PM ET

They may have been knocked out of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs by their long-time arch-rivals, but the Boston Bruins can claim at least one victory over the Montreal Canadiens this season: their guy will be on the cover of a video game.

Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron will grace the box of EA Sports’ NHL 15 when the game launches this September, after Bergeron beat out Habs defenceman P. K. Subban in the final rounds of a month-long frenzy of online voting.

The Bruins organization rallied fans to vote for the 28-year-old Quebec native through the team’s official website, Facebook page and Twitter account, including a contest giving away free copies of the game – but only if Bergeron ended up on the cover.

“Obviously I have a lot of respect for P.K. and that would have been great if he would have been on the cover, but I think the Bruins helped a lot,” Bergeron told QMI Agency from EA Canada’s sprawling headquarters near Vancouver. The results of the cover vote were slated to be announced Tuesday night at the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Bergeron has fond memories of playing the classic, lo-fi Sega Genesis games NHLPA Hockey ’93 and NHL ’94, back when lacing up his skates as a professional player was still just a dream.

“Just the memories of me being young, and nothing better than going downstairs and just living in the moment and being a kid. Playing the Nordiques and being Joe Sakic for 20 minutes,” said Bergeron.

“I grew up playing the game and loving the game, hockey was definitely my passion and I wanted to one day be playing in the NHL. But I never thought in a million years that I’d one day be on the cover of the same game I used to play.”

When it hits stores Sept. 9, NHL 15 will mark the franchise’s first appearance on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, with versions also available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. On the new generation of consoles, the game will boast advanced puck physics and refined player animations, making it the most realistic hockey video game to date. Sometimes eerily so.

“The first time, it’s weird to look at how I skate and how my equipment looks, but after that I don’t even think about it really, I just play the game,” said Bergeron.

Although Bergeron may have beat Subban in the cover vote, the Bruins’ loss to Montreal in the conference semifinals still smarts.

“The regular season, the way we played and the way we finished the season, it’s something to be proud of,” Bergeron said. “We climbed our way back up and we showed a lot of character doing that.

“But still, the playoffs are what it’s all about and we didn’t do the job. We can’t be happy with it, we’re definitely disappointed.”

Even though the season is over, the tough and tenacious forward doesn’t have a ton of time for video games. And it’s unlikely he’ll pose a threat to skilled gamers out there.

“A lot of people can kick my ass, actually,” said Bergeron. “I’m not good. I used to be, but not anymore.”

Hell, sometimes the battles begin before he’s even picked up the controller.

“Usually if I play against my brother he always wants to be the Bruins, so I have to pick someone else. It’s hard to do that, so it’s usually Bruins against Bruins.”

Twitter: @stevetilley

 


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