When EA Sports releases NHL 17 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this fall the game will include a feature that has never been a part of the franchise.
For the first time ever, NHL 17 will allow team relocation in the game’s franchise mode. The feature will allow players to move current teams to cities like Seattle, Las Vegas and Quebec City, among others.
While this feature would be interesting no matter what, the NHL’s current landscape makes it even more intriguing to fans. The league is currently looking into expansion – Las Vegas and Quebec City are the two cities being considered – and the Carolina Hurricanes ownership situation is in question. NHL 17 allows its players to take a look into a proverbial crystal ball to glance at a potential future for the league. What would the NHL look like with a team in the Pacific Northwest of the United States? What about a return of the Nordiques? Now fans can see for themselves before it even happens.
Though relocation is in, expansion isn’t part of the game this year likely do to league restrictions and programming limitations. It’s also unclear exactly how the relocation process will work in NHL 17 – is it more like Madden NFL’s relocation or the NBA 2k series?
One thing we know for sure is that there are more than 15 cities to choose from, and players will have full control over the team’s identity including the arena they play in as well as goal horns and songs. This is unlike Madden where you would have preset logos and jerseys to choose from.
“Players will get to fully customize their jerseys, colors, names and more at the new city that they relocate to,” Associate Producer via the game’s website.said
Will the divisions and conferences realign or will other teams vote against moving a team? These are just a couple of the questions left to be answered about the feature as the release of NHL 17 draws closer. Nevertheless, it will still be cool to see how the league is effected when you relocate a franchise, and see what it’ll be like to actually see the Las Vegas Black Knights – if that is the team name – take on the Dallas Stars.
NHL 17 releases in September on current gen consoles only. Be sure to stick with The Hockey Writers for full coverage of the game as well as exclusive interviews, tips, tricks and videos that you can’t get anywhere else.
Michael is a former Managing Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s covered the Buffalo Sabres, along with the NHL in general, for various outlets since 2009. His work has been featured on outlets such as Yahoo, Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports.