The last NHL game I played was NHL 06, and it looks like nothing has changed in three years. Graphics are exactly the same except for a few new player animations. Commentary is still the same recycled script dating back to NHL 04, soundtrack is less impressive that previous outings.
The all new Be A Pro mode is interesting, but from what I've seen of the Xbox 360 version, pales in comparison. In this PC version you can only play 10 seasons (instead of 25, likewise for Dynasty mode), and you start on the first line as soon as you create your player. The console version starts you off on the farm league, and you progress from there. Once you choose your position, it's with you for the game. The goals set by the management are kinda arbitrary as it doesn't really matter if you achieve them or not.
It'd be nice for them to include the British Elite league, if they're going to go all out for Russian, Scandinavian or Papa New Guinea leagues, but I doubt it'll happen any time soon.
Just as a quick note, the game requires a one-time online activation after entering the 500 digit registration key. It's a rare thing not to have the internet these days, but you're screwed if you don't have access - how much more DRM are EA going to subject us to?
Online is a joke - it now requires a direct IP connection to play against someone else. I don't remember having to do that since Doom... another ball dropped here.
The biggest bugbear about this game is the fact it is still a PS2 port, and not an Xbox 360 port. It isn't worth buying this game, or in fact any of this year's EA Sports titles, for PC if you have any version from 04 onwards.
All in all, very disappointing. Either EA rethink their PC titles for next year, or go for a console alternative for sports sims...