NHL 09 is the 18th video game in the NHL series released by EA Sports. NHL 09 was first released in North America for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 10, 2008, and on September 25, 2008 Australia, and September 26, 2008 in Europe.[1][2]
It was released for Microsoft Windows on October 22, 2008 in North America, and October 30, 2008 in Australia.[3]
For the PlayStation 2 platform NHL 09 was released in North America only on November 4, 2008.[4]

New features[]

NHL 09 introduced several new features from the previous year's edition of the game. Features such as the defensive skill stick, dump-and-chase, and the lift stick option played into the advanced user's demographic. The option to play using the NHL '94 controls, however, makes the game easy for even a beginner to play.

This year's edition of the game has also seen the return of the alternate jersey with a verification code as well expanded rosters such as the O2 Extraliga and the Russian Superleague. (Russian Superleague is currently defunct, replaced by the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL); the game was developed before the KHL was formed)

In order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Canadiens, NHL 09 has a feature where the greatest Canadiens play as an All-Star team known as the "Centennial Canadiens", which is included on all platforms.

The North American edition of the game features former Calgary Flames' defenseman Dion Phaneuf on the cover. The Swiss version of the game shows New York Islanders' defenseman Mark Streit on the cover. There is also a Swedish cover version showing Ottawa Senators' captain Daniel Alfredsson. The cover on the Russian version features Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin.

Online play[]

Players have the ability to create a player to use in online play. Users can join online teams with friends or find players to create on. There is now a 6-on-6 online team play. Users have the ability to level up players, participate in tournaments (with brackets), and receive awards at the end of the season. Rosters have been updated, as well as slap shot power and accuracy to compliment NHL updates. As of April 15, 2009, many rosters have automatically been changed for those with online capabilities. The PC version of NHL 09 does not come with an online lobby; users must find an opponent manually and enter in their opponent's specific wide area network IP address.

NHL 94 controls[]

EA Sports has added an option to use an old, nostalgic style of controls to help players get used to the game. These controls will use the face buttons to do most of the work, such as 'A' being pass and 'B' being shoot instead of using the right-analog stick.

Alternate jerseys[]

For the 2008–09 NHL season, certain NHL hockey teams unveiled third jerseys for the first time after the 2007-08 switch to the Rbk Edge jersey system. The new alternate jerseys for certain teams can be unlocked with a code, the same way the Rbk Edge jerseys were unlocked in NHL 08. The Boston Bruins were the last team to unveil their alternate jersey on November 24, 2008. Upon a new roster update that carries the alternate jerseys and many new players, there is no longer a need to enter the code. Unfortunately, many errors were committed when designing the jerseys; the New York Islanders' jersey was done incorrectly in that the name and numbering on the back of the jersey in NHL 09 is orange, while in real life it is white. Also, the logo on the front of the jersey is missing the fourth orange stripe on the hockey stick which was meant to symbolize their four Stanley Cup victories. The Buffalo Sabres' third jersey was also portrayed incorrectly, lacking silver striping on the torso. This was also the case on the Tampa Bay Lightning jersey as it lacks the silver striping on the torso. The St. Louis Blues' third jersey is also incorrect, as the lettering is white instead of yellow in reality. The Ottawa Senators' uniform has the stripes on the pants running down the front of the thigh, instead of its proper and traditional place on the side. The Philadelphia Flyers' uniform has numbering and lettering too large and dark on the back of the jerseys as well as some alternate previous jerseys (such as the ones from 1975) have numbers and names not properly centered on the jerseys.

New European elite leagues[]

NHL 09 now includes the German DEL, the Czech Extraliga, the Swedish Elitserien, the Finnish SM-liiga, and the Russian Superleague, with the latter now defunct, replaced by the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), though not featured in the game.

PlayStation 2 features[]

On the PS2 version of NHL 09 there is a Be a Pro Mode where you create a player or use a rookie NHL player and take him in the NHL (also included in EA Sports NBA Live and FIFA Soccer/Football series and is similar to Madden's Superstar Mode), new rookie controls, European dynasty leagues, all-new tutorial videos, and authentic NHL gameplay.

PC version[]

Sidney Crosby wearing a retro Penguins jersey and winning the Stanley Cup in NHL 09 PC.

Just like the previous two entries in the series, the PC version is no longer developed to be equivalent to the Xbox 360 and versions and is a port of the PlayStation 2 version. This resulted in graphics below NHL 08's fidelity and a notable lack of support for controllers and widescreen resolutions. NHL 09 was the last EA Sports-based hockey game released for the PC as well as the PlayStation 2

Absent Teams[]

  • American Hockey League: Abbotsford Heat, and Texas Stars
  • Deutsche Eishockey Liga: Kassel Huskies EHC Munchen
  • Elitserien: none
  • O2 Extraliga: HC Kometa Brno
  • National Hockey League: none
  • Russian Superleague: Khimik Moscow Oblast


  • National Hockey League
  • American Hockey League
  • Deutsche Eishockey Liga
  • Elitserien
  • O2 Extraliga
  • Russian Superleague
  • SM-Liiga


Menus and in-game[]

NHL 09 features 16 different songs, according to the EA Trax screen.[6]

NHL 2009 Soundtrack
Artist Song
Airbourne "Runnin' Wild"
Apocalyptica featuring Tomoyasu Hotei "Grace"
Avenged Sevenfold "Afterlife"
Billy Talent featuring Anti-Flag "Turn Your Back"
Black Tide "Warriors of Time"
Bullet for My Valentine "Hearts Burst into Fire"
Coheed and Cambria "The Running Free"
From First to Last "Two As One"
Johnossi "Execution Song"
Millencolin "Done Is Done"
Panic! at the Disco "Nine in the Afternoon"
Phantom Planet "Do the Panic"
Protest the Hero "The Dissentience"
Sons and Daughters "Gilt Complex"
The Elms "The Shake"
The Kills "Cheap and Cheerful"

In-game only[]

The game also features songs that are played only during whistles during games, and cannot be seen in the EA Trax screen.[7]

  • August Frost - "Krickets"
  • August Frost - "Mask"
  • August Frost - "Necessary Dissection"
  • August Frost - "Strange Grace"
  • TV Heart Attack - "Don't Walk Away"
  • TV Heart Attack - "Hypnotic Eyes"
  • TV Heart Attack - "Jane Doe"
  • Young Dre The Truth - "I Love L.A."

Custom soundtracks can be imported to the game, but only on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions.[8]


Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson provide commentary on the PC and PlayStation 2 versions.
Gary Thorne and Bill Clement are on the console versions.


A demo was released on the PlayStation Network on August 28, 2008,[9] followed by the release of the same demo on the Xbox Live Marketplace on September 3, 2008 at 5:00am ET. The demo includes tutorials for shooting, deking, and defensive moves while playing as 2008 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Henrik Zetterberg. Once the player finishes the tutorial (or the user can exit the tutorial via the pause menu), the user then has access to a single 3rd period game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, symbolizing the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, where the player may choose which team to play as. If the game remains a tie once the period is over, the game will immediately go to a shootout. The "Be a Pro" mode is also available in the demo for a single 3rd period game also between Pittsburgh and Detroit. Henrik Zetterberg and Sidney Crosby are the only players available for the "Be a Pro" mode.

Easter eggs[]

  • Sabrina Ladha, a female goalie, is listed as a free agent in the game with overall stats of 98 (70, with the latest roster update, 90 for PlayStation 2 version as the highest-rated combined-style (hybrid-style) goaltender). She was entered into the game because her father won a charity auction with a winning bid of $7,000. The opportunity to be placed in NHL 09 was sold to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.



  • IGN Best of 2008:
    • Best Xbox 360 Sports Game
  • GameSpot Best of 2008:
    • Best Sports Game
    • Nominated for Game of the Year
    • Nominated for Cooperative Multiplayer Game
  • Spike TV Video Game Awards:
    • Best Team Sports Game
  • GameTrailers Game of the Year Awards:
    • Best Sports Game
    • Nominated for Xbox 360 Game of the Year


External links[]