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NHL 15 gives you a mode that thrives on control next to none

"In past meetings when we went to video review the feeling in the room was [that] the reason you go to video review is you believe there's a black-and-white answer," Holland said. "If a decision has been made and it's obvious it's the wrong decision based on a black-and-white set of rules, we want to have it right. Goalie interference hasn't been, and I don't know if it will ever be, black and white. Some is black, some is white, but there's lots of gray."
 
General managers have seen the plays of NHL 15 that will fall under any new rule proposed in past meetings and have been undecided in those instances if there can be a consensus. "The ones we always see on TV that are always replayed are the no-brainer ones; we sit in the meeting and look at other ones, and they're not as clear-cut as you think," Nill said. "We sit in those meetings, it's all experienced people, we'll have a vote and out of 30 people 16 will say it's a goal and 14 will say it isn't. That's how tough it is. That's the problem." Be a GM is similarly stripped. For a mode that thrives on control, NHL 15 gives you next to none. The AHL affiliate teams have been done away with, and players in the minors don't accumulate any season stats -- they just sort of exist without any progress that you can control. There are no longer any goals to aim other than winning (I guess). Probably most egregious, the year-end draft is completely run by the CPU, and the preseason and fantasy drafts are gone.
 
Entire modes are gone, such as EA Sports Hockey League, an online league system of NHL 15 that supported six-on-six play and was introduced in 2008's NHL 09. In fact, online play in general has been gutted: The online franchise mode GM Connected is also absent, as is online team play in any capacity. EA Canada has pledged to patch in that latter feature, but at launch, only one-on-one online games are available. Online team play, which allowed for more than 1-vs-1 online matches, is nowhere to be found, although EA promises that mode will be added via patch. Even EA's NHL 15 Ultimate Team is limited, only allowing for randomized match-ups and won't permit players to compete against friends.

 
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Some of the other zany CPU trades I've seen are offering a second-round pick for third-line grinder, Zach Smith, parting with two third-round picks for 35-year-old tough guy, Chris Neil, and sending a pair of third-round picks for 36-year-old defenseman, Chris Phillips. The CPU seems to prioritize players' present overall rating when making trades, instead of valuing things like age, potential, speed, and skill. Similarly, the CPU has a bad habit of waiving 3-star and 3.5-star prospects who will easily turn into mid-80-overall NHL players, just because those athletes' current overall ratings are in the low-to-mid 70s. I was able to grab Calle Jrnkrok, whom the real-world Predators traded their leading point scorer to get, after Nashville's AI owner waived J?rnkrok early in season one. The former Predators prospect quickly progressed into an 81-overall, bottom-six forward for my Ottawa Senators by the start of season two.
 
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