EA Sports promised that they wouldn’t be keeping hockey fans waiting to find out what other legendary players would be returning to the ice in NHL 12, and they haven’t disappointed. The developer is keeping up the tradition of featuring nods to both old-time greats and recent superstars, with the latest screenshots and trailers confirming that Jeremy Roenick, Steve Yzerman, Patrick Roy and Börje Salming will all be reliving their glory days.

NHL 12 is going to be offering more than a few surprises to fans of the series when it’s released next month, from it’s all new net battles to goalies exhibiting more freedom and physicality than ever before. But a hockey fan is nothing if not nostalgic, yearning to experience the most memorable games and plays from their younger years. That’s where this year’s Legends come in.

Rather than trying to get older hockey fans to accept that their favorite players were members of a much different league than today’s stars, EA Sports is giving them the chance to see how the NHL’s Hall of Famers would fare in today’s game. We’ve already been told that Wayne Gretzky, Ray Bourque and Chris Chelios would be tying up their skates in this year’s game, and now we can add four more stars to their ranks.

The first two confirmed by EA are Detroit Red Wings superhero Steve Yzerman, who has managed to win just about every single hockey accolade imaginable with the Red Wings and Canada internationally, not to mention holding the title of the longest-running Captaincy in league history. Joining Yzerman is none other than Börje Salming, and while the Swedish defenseman may not have the same mainstream recognition of his companions, Toronto Maple Leafs fans count him among their most beloved.

The announcement trailer for the two tempts players to imagine seeing Salming once again donning the blue and white, and Yzerman leaving his post as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning to suit up alongside cover star Steven Stamkos. Honestly, the stories write themselves:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDxWxqbNsdw

We knew it was only a matter of time before a goalie was revealed to be playable in the game, and as much as old-time hockey fans would love to see Terry Sawchuk or Glenn Hall strap on the pads one more time, Patrick Roy is more than deserving of the nod. But fans of shift-disturbers – players who irritate their opponents as successfully as embarrass them – will be pleased to see Jeremy Roenick taking the second-to-last spot on the roster.

While Roenick may have become more famous for his no-holds-barred commentary since his retirement, and Roy’s time out of the spotlight was likely welcomed, it doesn’t take much to remind hockey fans of just how special these two players were. We can’t be sure, but we predict that Roy will be a perfect showcase for the new ‘aggression’ level that goalies will be assigned.

Take a look at the most recent trailer now:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sez2GvISlQs

What trailers would be complete without a few screenshots to see these living legends in action? Take a look at the whole cast below:

The developers of NHL 12 have certainly managed to capture each player’s unique habits, which should go the extra mile in providing nostalgia where a simple name on a jersey has failed in the past. From the trailer’s depiction of Roy’s aggressive style, to Yzerman’s perfectly recreated goal against the St. Louis Blues in the 1996 playoffs, EA Sports seems hellbent on showing hockey fans that they understand their passion.

There are still two more Legends to be revealed – and we’ll be shocked if it doesn’t turn out to be Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe – and less than a week until the playable demo of NHL 12 arrives on PSN and Xbox Live.

Will you be picking up this year’s game? If so, how excited are you to try out the various modes these legends of the NHL will be bringing with them. And how many of you will immediately reunite Chelios and Roenick to see if the magic’s still there?

NHL 12 will make the old new again when it’s released for the Xbox 360 and PS3 on September 13, with the demo arriving on August 23.

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

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