Rinne thanks fans for making him an NHL 13 cover-vote finalist
LAS VEGAS, NV – When the NHL Awards are handed out on Wednesday afternoon at the Encore Theater at the Wynn in Las Vegas, fans will also find out which player will be on the cover of EA Sports NHL 13.
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Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne and Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux are the two finalists. Fans that voted online chose the winner.
“It was almost overwhelming,” Rinne said on Tuesday afternoon. “It was pretty cool to see how many fans got involved. It didn’t matter what city, people across the United States, Europe, Canadian people were voting. It was really cool to see. I was surprised with the attention the whole thing received.”
Rinne remembers playing the game as a child and seeing the game’s biggest stars being featured on the cover. While the netminder considers it an honor to be a finalist, he says it is the fans that deserve the credit for getting him there.
“It speaks volumes. It tells a lot about our fans… They deserve that. It is a great thing for our city and organization to get recognized. A big thank you to our fans who have put me in this position,” Rinne said.
The competition started with 60 players, two from each team. To become a finalist for the cover, Rinne had to beat out a number of players including teammate David Legwand. After the first round of voting concluded, Rinne faced off against Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks. Rinne went on to beat Vezina and Hart finalist Henrik Lundqvist. Before making it into the final round of voting, Rinne narrowly edged out John Tavares of the New York Islanders.
“I was surprised,” Rinne said about beating Lundqvist, a very popular goaltender for the New York Rangers. “There were some big players who our fans beat along the way. That is the biggest thing; I have to thank all the people voting.
“Every single round it was tight. It was never really easy for me. I’m sure it is going to be like that for the final round, too.”
Whereas Rinne remembers playing the game growing up, Giroux remembers playing it just a few months ago, but has since given up the controller.
“I used to play the game, but my roommate was Brayden Schenn, and he would kick my ass every time, so I wouldn’t play anymore,” Giroux said.
The forward speaks highly of the Finnish goaltender.
“He is a big goalie. He has had an unbelievable season. To be in the finals with him is an honor.”
But Giroux clarified his statement, wanting to be perfectly clear.
“I hope I win, though.”