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'NHL 13' to introduce playable female atheletes

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Ruggiero and Wickenheiser join the team

NHL 13 Smith Gaborik
NHL 13 Smith Gaborik

NHL 13 to offer playable female athletes as part of their Legends roster

NHL 13 will introduce playable female athletes for the first time in a professional league-based video game, EA announced today.

Former Team USA star Angela Ruggiero joins former Team Canada's Hayley Wickenheiser as playable Legends in the upcoming title. In addition, NHL Hall of Famers Doug Gilmour, Jari Kurri, and Dominik Hasek join the playable Legends roster alongside Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux.

"With the release of NHL 12 we added generic female characters in our Be a Pro mode based on a request from a 14-year-old female fan who emailed our staff because she felt underrepresented as a hockey videogame fan," said Dean Richards, General Manager, NHL, EA SPORTS.

"This year we are very excited to continue our effort of creating a more representative experience for female hockey fans by adding two of the greatest female athletes to ever play the game in Wickenheiser and Ruggiero to NHL 13."

A demo for NHL 13 is available to download through Xbox Live and PlayStation network. The title will release in full on September 11th in North America.

Update: EA has released screenshots of the legends in action. Check them out in the gallery below.