I checked the sound files and I can't seem to find any loophole.
Also, someone explain to me why 94 was so great. It had terrible graphics, no fighting, and only the Sega CD version had something to it. I played the DOS version of NHL 94 (Called "NHL Hockey") and it had better graphics than the console versions.
96 brought in 3D graphics and took away the arcadey feel of NHL games, 97 brought in play by play, mask viewer, alternate jerseys, and 98 brought ads and sponsors on the boards.
By 99, EA had done what they needed to do for their series.