By Daniel Friedman
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In light of recent events surrounding Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, EA Sports made the easy (or difficult, depending on who you ask) decision to remove him from the cover of NHL 16. The game ships next month, on September 15.
Kane is not the first athlete to be taken off an NHL cover, nor the first to be taken off any sports video game. Here are four others who also were:
1. Dany Heatley (NHL 2004)
After a car crash resulted in the death of teammate Dan Snyder, EA pulled the plug and replaced Heatley with Colorado Avalanche legend Joe Sakic. It should've come in better circumstances, but it was about damn time that Sakic graced the front of a hockey video game. (Teammate Pete Forsberg was the featured athlete in NHL 98.)
2. Joe Thornton (NHL 2004)
Just when you thought EA Sports had its hands full with the Heatley situation, it was actually the second time they'd struck out on a cover athlete for NHL 2004. Thornton was supposed to be the original cover boy, but was dropped after being accused of assaulting two police officers.
3. Tiger Woods (EA Sports PGA Tour Franchise)
It was a long time coming, and it probably should've happened a few years ago, but EA finally replaced Tiger with rising superstar Rory McIlroy for its PGA Tour franchise. Woods' reputation had just gotten worse and worse as news about his personal affairs continued to surface. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour made its debut in July 2015.
4. Hulk Hogan (WWE 2K16)
Hogan was reported to have gone on a racist rant during a sex tape that was filmed back in 2007. WWE severed all ties with him and 2K Sports followed suit by announcing he wouldn't be in the game.
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