EA Sports Replaces Heatley With Sakic On "NHL 2004" Cover
Heatley Removed Following
Crash, Teammate's Death
EA Sports has replaced Thrashers RW Dany Heatley with Avalanche C Joe Sakic as the cover athlete of its "NHL 2004" video game after Heatley's car accident claimed the life of teammate Dan Snyder in October, according to Wayne Karl of THE HOCKEY NEWS. Existing copies of the game "will remain on store shelves, but future production as well as retail advertising and other promotions" will feature Sakic. EA Sports said in a statement, "We decided it would be inappropriate to bring any more attention to Dany by featuring him. ... This has been a tragic event for everyone." EA Sports spokesperson David Lee noted that the company made its first-ever post-production change of a cover athlete as a "gesture of respect and sensitivity," adding, "This wasn't a sales decision. We wanted to do what's right." Karl adds that Canadian satellite provider Bell Express Vu recently changed its print ads by removing an image of Heatley (THE HOCKEY NEWS, 12/2 issue).