You'll recall when College Hockey Inc. Director Paul Kelly was on our program back in May and he told us that negotiations were on with EA Sports to include NCAA hockey in their popular NHL game series. (If you don't, here is the link to that story).
With the recent release of NHL 11, it's obvious that a NCAA component did not make it into the game. However, we had Andy Agostini from EA Sports on The Pipeline Show on Saturday morning (you do know that we've added a second live show each week on Saturday mornings right??) and we brought the subject up again with him.
So will there be NCAA Hockey in NHL 12?
"We never say never in our group," Agostini began, "As of right now we're just starting to look into the future for NHL 12; the development has already started and people are picking out what we are going to be doing for the next project. Every league in the world is something that we mention at the beginning of the year, some more than others due to size or popularity. Definitely [it's] always up on that bulletin board of 'Here's All the Features We'd Like to Put In' in the future. At this point... not... the list hasn't been completed so yeah, there's no real time-line for anything as of right now."I'm not sure if that is an answer that will excite many NCAA fans who were excited after Kelly's proclamation that something was in the works.
From EA's perspective, it sounds like anything is a possibility but, and perhaps I'm reading too much into it but... there was no indication from Agostini that the NCAA was much closer to being a reality than the German 2nd Division or the KHL. I didn't get the sense that there was an impending agreement on its way like I was after Paul Kelly's comments in May.
As for the NHL 11 version, the addition of snapping sticks is just an example of the added realism EA Sports has injected into the game. We came up with two more suggestions for NHL 12: Ice Girls and playoff beards that gradually get longer as a team advances to the next round. The latter was suggested by a listener via email, and it's a winner in my opinion.
Any other things you would like to see added to the game for next year?