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NHL 16 cover features two of this year's Stanley Cup champions

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Chicago Blackhawks forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will appear together on the cover of NHL 16, publisher Electronic Arts announced last night during the 2015 NHL Awards.

This spring, Kane (right) and Toews (left, pronounced tayvz) led the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup victory in six years, finishing the playoffs ranking first and third in the league, respectively, in total points.

Toews and Kane's appearance on the NHL 16 box marks a series of firsts for EA's NHL franchise: This is the first time the cover has featured two teammates; the first time the Stanley Cup has appeared in the artwork; and the first time that anybody has repeated as a cover athlete. In fact, this isn't the first go-round for either player: Kane graced the NHL 10 cover in 2009, while Toews was the cover star for NHL 11 the following year.

"Being teamed up with Jonathan for the NHL 16 cover is a great feeling," said Kane in a press release from EA. "I never would have imagined being on the cover twice, and the fact this is happening on top of our team taking home the Cup is unreal."

"I'm honored to not only share the Stanley Cup Championship with Patrick, but to share the EA Sports NHL 16 cover with him too," said Toews. "Our team's passion and dedication have made this all possible — and I'm sure fans will be fired up about it."

This is the first time since 2011 that EA has chosen the NHL cover athlete(s) itself. In each of the past three years, the publisher held a fan vote on the NHL website for the covers of NHL 13 (Claude Giroux), NHL 14 (Martin Brodeur) and NHL 15 (Patrice Bergeron).

NHL 16 will be available Sept. 15 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will get a separate roster-update-esque experience, NHL Legacy. We've reached out to EA Sports to ask if NHL Legacy will feature the same cover as NHL 16, and will update this story with any information we receive.