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Montreal Sports Writer Covers Locked-Out Habs Via Video Game
Pat Hickey simulates lost season on NHL 13, makes up imaginary quotes

Image courtesy EA Sports

The NHL lockout is in its 74th day, but thanks to Montreal Gazzette’s Pat Hickey, Canadiens fans have something to cheer about. Their team is tied for first place. And, no, they’re not delusional. 

By simulating the Canadiens season in Electronic Arts’ NHL 13, Hickey has been able to write about each and every game the Habs would have played had the NHL not locked out its players. To ensure authenticity, he furnishes his pieces with quotes. For instance, a recent game summary had this quote from Carey Price, “It wasn’t my best game but I didn’t have to be my best because the guys gave me a good lead,”

As for where Hickey gets his quotes… Well, he makes them up using his almost 44 years of experience covering the sport: “So far, nobody has accused me of misquoting them, so I guess I’m doing O.K..”

So far, the Montreal Gazette’s readers, with no actual hockey in sight, have responded strongly to the weekly updates – Hickey’s piece was one of the most read sports stories on the newspaper’s website last week. 

Of course, Hickey wishes that he could watch the real thing, but writing about a simulation has its advantages: “It’s a lot easier to get quotes out of guys when you make them up, rather than trying to find some guy who’s hiding.”

Somewhere, Damien Cox wishes he had thought of this idea. [Bloomberg]

____

Igor Bonifacic is a writer working for the Toronto Standard. You can follow him on twitter at @igorbonifacic

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