Mixed Lineup Offers Three Debuts and Three Sequels
Friday, July 21, 2006

The NHL 14 lineup offers plenty of options for our Sports Picks collectors -- three of the figures (Henrik Zetterberg, Markus Naslund 2 & Simon Gagne) were originally announced for prior series, but show McFarlane Toys’ commitment to "make good" on an announced figure whenever possible. Montreal Canadiens winger Alex Kovalev was previously scheduled for this lineup but has been moved out. Kovalev remains a very strong possibility for the NHL 15 lineup in the fall of 2007. NHL 14 includes four of the league's top 14 scorers, three players making their Sports Picks debuts, and one well-respected veteran honoring his current and former teams.

MARKUS NASLUND 2 -- Our second figure of Vancouver's captain was originally scheduled for NHL 10, but was replaced by Jarome Iginla 2 out of respect for the Flames' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004. Vancouver has made the biggest splash this off-season, bringing in top-flight goalie Roberto Luongo in a move sure to spring them back into the playoff mix. Naslund is the team's leader and best player, so expect him to be front-and-center during the Canucks' renaissance.

SIMON GAGNE -- Philadelphia's deadly left wing rebounded from a substandard 2003-04 season to record a career-high 47 goals last season. Gagne's resurgence lifted him to seventh in the league in goals, while turning Philadelphia back into a playoff team to be reckoned with.

SIDNEY CROSBY 2 -- The most-heralded rookie in recent memory delivered on the hype and then some. Crosby scored 102 points, good enough for sixth in the league while showing the talent and dedication to dominate the league for years to come. Mario Lemieux's retirement essentially passed the torch in the Steel City, and the future remains bright for "The Next One."

HENRIK ZETTERBERG -- The Red Wings' shooting star helped deliver a gold medal to his native Sweden during the 2006 Olympics, and lived up to his "clutch" reputation in the playoffs -- delivering six goals in six games for Detroit. With Steve Yzerman's retirement and Brendan Shanahan's exit, it's a whole new Red Wings team, and young stars like Zetterberg will help bring Hockeytown back to the future.

CURTIS JOSEPH 2 -- Our second "CuJo" figure will be released in two separate versions. Half of the figures will be a current-day version which will also be our first-ever regular issue Phoenix Coyotes figure, helping them celebrate their "Decade in the Desert." The other half of the figures will be throwbacks, featuring "CuJo" during his three years with the Edmonton Oilers.

ERIC STAAL -- Eric Staal served notice to the entire NHL last season, finishing eighth in goal-scoring with 45 lamp-lighters, while turning in a league-high 28 playoff points helping lead Carolina to the Stanley Cup.

NHL 14 is due in stores in May 2007, but check back for prototype photos in a few months.