We have all been left with a sizeable hole in our lives with Vegas Golden Knights hockey on lockdown, but there is now a way to plug that gap thanks to NHL.
Announced on Thursday, the Vegas Golden Knights and the 31 other franchises will be taking part in the NHL Player Gaming Challenge.
We say the 31 other franchises because the Seattle franchise, still without a name, will be represented by Seattle Seahawks Tight End Luke Wilson, which is pretty neat.
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Getting underway on April. 30th, the NHL Player Gaming Challenge will run over the course of four weeks with each franchise represented by one or two players in a one-time matchup against another team on NHL 20.
Weekly matchups, storylines and broadcast details will be revealed at the start of each week, with LA Kings TV Play-By-Play Announcer Alex Faust to host the series of weekly matchups.
As well as being a fun and unique way to engage fans, with matches to be streamed on a number of different platforms, the initiative will also see the National Hockey League Foundation and Electronic Arts donate a combined $100,000 in support of the CDC Foundation’s COVID-19 relief efforts.
This is a pretty cool way to fill the void left by no hockey and, with the NHL hoping to resume the 2019-20 regular season in July, this Gaming Challenge should keep us all entertained until then.
After all, it was an actual thrill ride to watch The Great One take on The Great Eight on NHL 20 earlier this week, so it should be a lot of fun to watch other NHL players take on each other.
So, on that note, we decided to give our three bold predictions for how the NHL Player Gaming Challenge will unfold.
Let’s delve in…
1. Wilson To Go Deep
As a Tight End in the NFL, Luke Wilson is used to having to come up with big plays for the Seattle Seahawks.
Well, he will have to come up big for the Seattle NHL franchise after being asked to represent the City in the NHL Gaming Challenge.
It’s pretty cool that the Seattle Franchise will be represented and you may be wondering why an NFL player has been asked to take part in an NHL gaming tournament.
Well, the answer is simple; Wilson actually played hockey as a kid along with baseball before deciding that football was his true calling.
So, given that he’s also Canadian, hockey runs through Wilson’s blood and, as a result, he will be no pushover in this tournament.
And we have a sneaky feeling that the Tight End might actually take a few of his NHL peers by surprise and cause a few upsets during the course of the next four weeks.
2. Reaves to fight as himself at least six times
Ryan Reaves will represent the Golden Knights in the NHL Gaming Challenge along with Alex Tuch, and the duo will be hoping to do their team proud.
But we think Reaves may have a secret plan up his sleeve.
Just what is that secret plan you ask?
Well, we all know Reaves has a reputation for being the best fighter in the NHL and we don’t feel that will stop in the gaming world.
Instead, we are predicting that the human wrecking ball will try to drop the gloves with as an opponent while playing as himself at least six times during this Gaming Challenge.
Reaves loves winding up his opponents and we feel the virtual world will mirror real life in this instance.
3. Tuch To Go Undefeated
While Ryan Reaves will be busy trying to wind up his opponents, we have a sneaky suspicion that Alex Tuch is actually quite good at this whole gaming thing.
As a result, we wouldn’t be surprised if the forward went undefeated throughout the NHL Player Gaming Challenge.
In-fact, we are banking on it.
Why are we so confident?
Tuch is a skilled player and he will look to transport some of his natural finesse to the gaming world, while the Golden Knights have one of the best rosters on the game so he has the upper-hand in that department.
Able to switch between two elite goalies in Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner, coupled with having players like Mark Stone, William Karlsson and Max Pacioretty on the team, Tuch has all the weapons needed to be able to taste glory in the NHL Player Gaming Challenge.
And we are looking forward to watching it all unfold.