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This is EA's yearly NHL franchised hockey game. 
  

Improvements

 
  • For the first time, EA's NHL series included National Teams.  Although they could not get the official Nagano Olympic license, they were able to have national teams with corresponding rosters. 
  • EA introduced for the first time in their NHL series 3Dfx Glide support which dramatically changed their graphics from previous years (although the SNES and Genesis versions of the game continued to look like the previous 2D games)
 

Game Modes

  • Exhibition - single game, pick your team and your opponent and face against the computer or friend.
  • Season - You can play all 82 games of the 1997-98 NHL season, trade players, sign free agents and go through the ups and down of a full season.
  • Practice - Try situations like penalty kills, power plays, odd man rushes.  Select how many players you want versus how many players the opposing teams have.
  • Skill Challenge - Try some of the challenges that have been made popular with the NHL's All Star game, such as faster skater, accuracy shooting, skating around cones and 2 on 0 goalie scenarios.
  • Shoot Out - One on One, goalie versus a skater on a breakaway.

Teams & Rankings

 
In addition to the then 26 NHL Teams (before Atlanta Thrashers, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild), two All Star Teams and only 3 National Teams (United States, Canada, Europe). 
 
Here are the default NHL Team Rankings: 
TeamEven StrengthPower PlayPenalty KillingGoaltending
 Anahiem Mighty Ducks9th 6th 22nd 11th 
 Boston Bruins26th 16th 21st 26th 
 Buffalo Sabres6th 26th 13th 6th 
 Calgary Flames21st 8th 17th 13th 
 Carolina Hurricanes19th 4th 10th 19th 
 Chicago Blackhawks14th 17th 11th 7th 
 Colorado Avalanche1st 3rd 2nd 5th 
 Dallas Stars2nd 19th 16th 3rd 
 Detroit Red Wings5th 7th 4th 2nd 
 Edmonton Oilers13th 6th 18th 16th 
 Florida Panthers7th 21st 7th 4th 
 Los Angeles Kings24th 25th 3rd 20th 
 Montreal Canadians17th 13th 26th 23rd 
 New Jersey Devils3rd 23rd 1st 1st 
 New York Islanders22nd 22nd 15th 18th 
 New York Rangers8th 1st 25th 1th 
 Ottawa Senators16th 11th 20th 12th 
 Philadelphia Flyers4th 18th 6th 8th 
 Phoenix Coyotes11th 5th 5th 15th 
 Pittsburgh Penguins10th 2nd 23rd 25th 
 San Jose Sharks25th 20th 12th 24th 
 St. Louis Blues12th 15th 14th 14th 
 Tampa Bay Lightning20th 24th 8th 17th 
 Toronto Maple Leafs23rd 14th 19th 22nd 
 Vancouver Canucks15th 10th 24th 21st 
 Washington Capitals18th 12th 9th 9th 
 
 

Players with 100 Rating

 There are several players in the game that are by default rated 100, they are:  
 Center
NameTeamPosition
 Paul KariyaAnahiem Mighty Ducks Left Wing 
 Dominik HasekBuffalo Sabres Goaltender 
 Peter ForsbergColorado Avalanche Center 
 Sergei FedorovDetroit Red Wings Center 
 Rod Brind'AmourPhildelphia FlyersLeft Wing 
 Eric LindrosPhiladelphia Flyers  
 Jaromir JagrPittsburgh Penguins Right Wing 
 Keith TkachukPhoenix Coyotes Left Wing 
 Paul CoffeyPhiladelphia FlyersRight Defense
 Ray BourqueBoston Bruins Left Defense 

Cover Athlete

 Peter Forsberg of the Colorado Avalanche 
  

Trivia

 
Mario Lemiuex was in the Saturn version of the game, although he had retired at the end of the 1996-97 NHL Season. 
 


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