The Phoenix Coyotes were very different in 1994. In fact, the name "Phoenix Coyotes" didn't even exist. Hockey in Arizona was still two years away and the franchise called Winnipeg home.
Current Coyotes Captain Shane Doan was playing his final season for the Kamloops Blazers, unable to know that he would be drafted by a team he would never leave.
Keith Tkachuk captained the Winnipeg Jets during the 48-game 1994-95 season. Last season saw another 48-game season. The NHL has come full circle; so has EA Sports NHL.
The blue-iced lawlessness is back. How would the current Coyotes compare to the '94 Jets in the virtual playground of NHL 94?
Whether you're bruising bodies with Tie Domi or Tkachuk or making highlight scoring plays with Alexei Zhamnov or Teemu Selanne, the Jets provided a mix of talent and grit on that blue ice.
Today, you could play on that same ice with Tie's son, Max Domi, and, amazingly enough, Teemu Selanne! The physicality displayed by the Jets can be replaced by today's Coyotes with Doan and Martin Hanzal. The skill replaced by Mike RIbeiro and Radim Vrbata.
One thing will be different in NHL 14 than in NHL 94, the Coyotes/Jets franchise is better. Winnipeg finished last in the Central Division in the 1994 season while the Coyotes appear primed to make a return to the postseason for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
Through a series of events over the last 20 years, the most unique aspect of this year's revival of NHL 94 mode is: the Winnipeg Jets can actually play the Phoenix Coyotes.