NHL 14 cover player? It could be Brandon Yip of the Nashville Predators

For its NHL 13 game, EA Sports allowed fans to chose the player that adorned the cover through an online vote.

Eventually, it came down to Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators in the final two, with Giroux winning out over what would have been the first Finnish-born player to ever grace the North American cover.

EA Sports is running the same gimmick for its next edition. Based on last season, if Smashville gets behind a candidate, that candidate has a shot the NHL 14 cover.

Which means forward Brandon Yip has at least a shot at making the cover of the most popular hockey video game series of all-time.

The Predators announced the center Mike Fisher and Yip were their representatives in the NHL 14 Cover Vote. There will be a field of 60 NHL players, whose eliminations begin in head-to-head matchups for individual teams. Fisher and Yip square off on April 28 in an online vote. If Yip can overcome the power of that fully armed and operational Carrie Underwood fan base, he would move on to the Round of 32 and so on.

Which is really kinda hilarious.

Yip has played 172 NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche and the Predators over five seasons, scoring 29 goals and 27 a.k.a. an average offensive year for most players. He’s about as well known to the casual hockey fan at the backup goalie for Rimouski Oceanic. His inclusion as a cover candidate is inexplicable: He’s either being set up as a jobber for Mike Fisher’s advancement to the next round or fulfills some sort of alphabetical of which we’re not aware.

Were they going to Shea Weber and just clicked the wrong box at the end of the roster?

All that snark aside … there’s obviously something endearing about a hard-working, unsung player like Yip getting a nomination like this. The great misconception about the “Vote for Rory” campaign in 2007 was that Rory Fitzpatrick was being treated like a joke. Maybe he was, to some; but overall, he was symbolic of the lunch-pail, blue-collar player that never wins awards or all-star game berths.

“Vote for Yipper”? We’ll, we’re still in the preliminary nomination rounds.

“Nom Yipper.” There we go.

Doesn't matter. Because Kris Verbeauty's got this in the bag.