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The Mighty Ducks nostalgia comes to NHL 23 for movie’s 30th anniversary

The kids’ team’s sweaters — and their rivals, the Hawks — are now free in the game

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Fresh from FIFA 23’s all-out crossover with Ted Lasso and that series’ fan-favorite characters, EA Sports and NHL 23 will be celebrating the 30-year-old film The Mighty Ducks with several items in the pro hockey sim’s Ultimate Team and World of Chel modes.

Called the “Fly Together” update, fans will find sweaters and skates for both The Mighty Ducks and their in-movie rivals, the Hawks, in both World of Chel and Hockey Ultimate Team. The cosmetic items are free and available beginning Tuesday until Jan. 2, 2023.

That will be supplemented by an Icon Choice Pack in HUT comprising six hockey stars who played for the NHL’s Anaheim franchise — which was also known as The Mighty Ducks from 1993 to 2006.

Alas, neither coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) nor any of his players from the cult-hit sports flick are in the game, although the hockey sweaters for both teams are spot-on recreations. The Mighty Ducks, which premiered Oct. 2, 1992, is about a selfish, arrogant lawyer (Bombay) who becomes head coach of a youth hockey team after he’s sentenced to community service for driving drunk. The underdog team comes together, Bombay puts his own personal hockey demons to rest, and everyone wins the big one in the end.

Disney brought the franchise back in 2021 with The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers on Disney Plus, which brought Estevez back in his original starring role. Disney was also the owner of the Anaheim franchise when the league voted to expand at the end of 1992. The company, in an eyebrow-arching bit of cross-promotion, called the new club The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (reflecting the company’s civic commitment to putting Anaheim on the map, too).

Simply renamed the “Anaheim Ducks” for the 2006-2007 season, the club played in its second Stanley Cup Finals and won its first championship, led by Teemu Selänne and Scott Neidermeyer, both of whom appear in the Icon Choice Pack.

NHL 23 launched Oct. 14 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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